Hammond plans to spend £1.3bn on road improvements

Hammond, who will unveil the government's first major spending plans since June's European Union membership referendum in a budget statement on Wednesday, told ITV television "there's no point crying over" the uncertainty. Road congestion is estimated to cost households more than 13 billion pounds a year.

The mini-budget will include £1.1bn for reducing congestion and upgrading local roads and £220m for tackling "pinch points" on England's motorways and major A roads.

It said the Autumn Statement would provide "a stable economic platform as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, tackling the long-term challenges facing the country, while helping to build an economy that works for everyone".

The remainder of a £1.3bn Treasury pot earmarked for infrastructure investment will be split between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although the devolved administrations can choose to spend that money as they see fit.

British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday he would aim to help struggling families and boost the country's long-term growth prospects when he announces Britain's first budget plans since the Brexit vote next week.

The new investment in Britain's roads is part of an effort to prioritize government spending that can have an immediate economic impact, the Treasury said in a statement.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has now urged Mr Hammond to reverse the cuts alongside reductions in disability benefits that will leave some claimants £30 a week worse off. "It's about making sure that businesses bear the brunt of the cuts, not people on low income, low pay and the disabled".

The statement said Hammond's approach on the budget would be different to that of his predecessor George Osborne by limiting announcements to top-level spending decisions "rather than announcing full details of individual projects".

He vowed that a future Labour government would halt tax cuts to the rich and big corporations, and would reverse cuts to Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance - and pressed Mr Hammond to to do the same.

The Autumn Statement is also expected to focus on boosting productivity and helping so-called "just about managing" families.

Pensions cold-calling is to be banned to prevent older people from being tricked out of their life savings by fraudsters.

McDonnell revealed that Labour would support an increase in the 40p tax threshold from £45,000 next year to £50,000 - a move promised in 2014 by David Cameron to take millions of middle-income families off the higher tax rate.

Mrs May is reportedly expected to use a Monday speech to industry leaders at the CBI's annual conference to insist she is "unashamedly pro-business" and to announce fresh investment in science and research.



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