Hammond to announce departure from Osborne policies

Chancellor to tell Tory conference 'we must change with the times' in move away from predecessor

Philip Hammond
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured) will announce a "pragmatic" approach as he vows to manage public finances in a different way to his predecessor, George Osborne.

With the economy taking centre stage on day two of the Conservative Party conference, Hammond will promise "a new plan for the new circumstances Britain faces" after the EU referendum result.

He will also say his approach allows greater scope for investment to boost the economy, including extra borrowing to accelerate housing construction.

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Although agreeing that Osborne's deficit reduction policies were "the right ones for that time", he will add: "When times change, we must change with them."

Sky News says the "breakaway" is the latest example of Hammond seeking to "stamp his authority and his personality" on government policy after he "ditched his predecessor's regular photo-calls in a yellow high-viz jacket and hard hat".

Theresa May's government has already confirmed it has abandoned its target to restore government finances to a surplus by 2020.

The Chancellor will add that the Treasury will "restore fiscal discipline" in a "pragmatic way that reflects the new circumstances we face".

Declaring that the scale of the deficit "remains unsustainable", he will promise further details in November's Autumn Statement.

A specific policy which Hammond will unveil this week is a new measure aimed at getting 40,000 new homes built by 2020. The government will borrow £2bn to support the "accelerated construction scheme", with the target of getting houses built on publicly-owned brownfield land available for swift development.

Hammond and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will say the cash will encourage new developers to build up to 15,000 homes during this parliament.

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