George Osborne liked to be photographed in hard hats and high-vis jackets, but the sober-suited Philip Hammond has delivered £23 billion for a five-year National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).
The announcement came in Hammond’s first autumn statement delivered at 12.30 on 23 November. It will also be the last such statement as he announced that the government would be moving to delivering a full autumn budget from 2017.
In his hour-long speech, Hammond said that the NPIF was intended to raise productivity by funding infrastructure and innovation. It will cover the periods from 2017-18 to 2021-22.