British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Monday he wanted to treat investment spending differently from day-to-day spending, underscoring his different approach to the public finances to that of his predecessor George Osborne.
“I want to make a clear distinction between everyday spending and investment in the kind of infrastructure that will raise Britain’s growth potential in the future, because growing this economy, ensuring that we’re creating the jobs and the economic wealth in the future is the way to secure Britain’s future prosperity,” Hammond said in an interview on LBC radio.
Osborne, who was replaced by Hammond in July following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, had aimed to turn the country’s overall budget deficit, including investment spending, into a surplus by the end of the decade.
Hammond has previously said he will take longer to meet that target and he has also suggested that he plans to announce “modest” spending on infrastructure projects when he delivers his first budget plans in November.
He told LBC that he remained in favour of Britain’s High-Speed 2 railway project, which will connect cities in the country’s north and central regions with London.