Derek Mackay pledges 'more progressive' approach to income tax in Scotland

Philip Hammond delivers his Budget again today

Philip Hammond delivers his Budget again today

Mr Hammond is depending on his package to convince the country austerity is coming to an end after nearly a decade of cuts after the financial crisis.

He was criticised for delivering tax cuts that analysts said would benefit the richest in society most.

Funnily enough, Hammond decided not to mention that part in his Budget speech, leaving journalists and others to dig around in the small print of the full Budget Red Book to find out that he was taking with one hand after giving with the other.

The Daily Mail runs with the headline "Phil-Good Factor!", and says the Budget marked a dramatic shift in strategy.

The UK Office of Responsibility said on Monday that meant a Scottish higher rate threshold of no more than £44,539 next year, meaning up to £5,461 being taxed at 21p more in the pound than south of the border.

"This week he announced a Brexit dividend budget if we come out of the European Union".

Boosted by improved public finance forecasts, the Chancellor promised a "brighter future" after years of constraint imposed following the financial crash.

The tax doesn't specifically target the U.S. tech giants, instead casting its net wide across social media platforms, online marketplaces and search engines that generate over £500m per year globally.

Mr Hammond took advantage of a £68 billion windfall from revised borrowing forecasts to help fund a £100 billion loosening of the purse-strings in Monday's Budget, promising voters a "brighter future" after years of austerity.

However, detailed figures made clear that the lion's share of this extra funding will go to the Department of Health to pay for a £20.5 billion boost to NHS spending, while other departments see their budgets rise in line with inflation.

Today the Chancellor admitted higher earners will "get a bit more" after putting much of the focus in parliament on a promise to raise the tax-free personal allowance in Income Tax - which hands £130 a year to any worker earning over £12,500 from April. They might. There's perhaps a one in three chance of that. "More likely he would just allow borrowing to persist at a higher level".

However, when asked if the Budget was a marker for a possible general election, Hammond told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I hope not".

Mr Hammond remains well ahead of shadow chancellor John McDonnell (pictured in the Commons yesterday).

"If a general election is coming, what they'll do is they'll splash out some money and then if they win the election they then start cutting it back again".

"Thanks to that, plus our approach in managing the economy, we are able to do things like invest in public services and cut taxes".

She said: "People have suffered enough under years of Tory austerity cuts, and these warnings from the IFS underline exactly what's at stake in the event of a devastating hard or no-deal Brexit".

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