Hammond boosts housing and NHS spending as growth forecasts are slashed

Photo of Hammond boosts housing and NHS spending as growth forecasts are slashed
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Autumn budget also includes stamp duty cut, £1.5bn universal credit U-turn and extra £3bn for Brexit preparations

Philip Hammond has cut stamp duty for first- time buyers as part of a package of measures to boost the economy, despite a sharp cut in forecasts for economic growth as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

In the government’s first major economic announcement since Theresa May lost the Conservatives’ majority at the election, the chancellor axed stamp duty for the majority of first-time buyers, pumped an additional £2.8bn into the NHS in England and earmarked £1.5bn to cut waiting times for universal credit claimants.

Related: Key points from budget 2017 – at a glance

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