4 key Budget 2017 policies and points

Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

An instant reaction from the Chancellor's budget - what were the most important announcements?

Changes to Universal Credit

A massive reduction in the waiting period and an extension of the repayment period give ground to Tory rebels and are quite difficult for the Labour Party to criticise - a win for Philip Hammond after an initially dodgy roll-out period.

OBR Forecasts

For the first time in 15 budgets, OBR forecasts for economic growth were revised downwards. In quite an inconsequential budget, this is likely to be the sticker for the government - who, of course, prime themselves on their economic record.

Stamp Duty

In a welcome housing policy, the Chancellor announced the absolute abolition of Stamp Duty for first time buyers up to £300,000. Whilst some Londoners will complain that this discriminates against those in the London market, the policy will help young buyers across the country. The tax cut also coincided with £44bn of capital funding for the housing market.

NHS Funding

£2.8bn for NHS England, and £10bn over the course of the parliament, will be welcome for pro-NHS campaigners. Although the funding doesn't quite reach the levels that were requested, it should go some way to easing burdens.