Good morning and welcome to Wednesday’s lowdown. Happy Autumn Statement day!
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Chancellor unveils his first Autumn Statement
The Chancellor will use his first Autumn Statement to announce measures aimed at “just about managing” families.
Hammond is expected to increase the National Living Wage to £7.50 an hour from April 2017, ban letting fees, and invest in 40,000 new affordable homes. He will also announce a boost in broadband investment, in preparation for HMRC’s Making Tax Digital plans.
The Office of Budget Responsibility will also reveal forecasts that economic growth will fall from 2% to 1% in 2017. Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told the BBC that the Chancellor has a difficult task ahead.
"For sure the economic numbers are going to get worse - he's going to be borrowing more than he wanted to and he is going to be very uncertain about exactly where we will be in four or five years' time," he said.
Construction company Vinci saw its shares fall 18% after a hoax press release said it sacked its finance director and would revise its accounts for 2015-16, reports the Mail.
A Vinci spokesman denied the fake press release, published Tuesday afternoon, which revealed an accounting error. “Vinci denies formally all the information contained in this fake press release and is investigating all legal actions in furtherance thereof.”
The fake press released caused £5.5bn to be knocked off the firm’s value. The company’s shares closed at 4%.