Hammond to put house-building before deficit reduction
Chancellor Philip Hammond says spending on new homes and transport will be his priority rather than following his predecessor George Osborne's aim to balance the books by 2020.
He said the Brexit vote had caused uncertainty and the "pragmatic" response was to support growth now.
But the deficit was still "eye-wateringly large" and would need to be tackled "in due course".
While Mr Hammond had already dropped his predecessor's target of eliminating the deficit by 2019-2020, what was particularly striking was his refusal to set a new timetable for bring the budget into surplus.
In his conference speech to the Conservative annual gathering later, Mr Hammond said Mr Osborne's deficit reduction policies "were the right ones for that time", adding: "But when times change, we must change with them. "Mr Hammond will say the government will still "restore fiscal discipline" but in a "pragmatic way that reflects the new circumstances we face", promising further details in November's Autumn Statement.
As part of "a new plan for the new circumstances Britain faces" after the Brexit vote, there will be greater scope for investment to boost the economy, including extra borrowing of £2bn to speed up the construction of new homes.