Source: HM Revenue & Customs | 13/03/18
As you would expect, the Spring Statement delivered by the Chancellor Philip Hammond, to Parliament on 13 March 2018, was peppered with party political jibes no doubt intended to lift the spirits of his own party and dismay the opposition parties.
There was very little “promised” in terms of new tax or other strategic items that we are used to in a Budget speech; we will need to wait until autumn 2018 for news of changes to government spending and changes to the tax code.
The new-style spring statements are intended to deliver:
• An update on the health of the UK economy and Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) forecasts,
• An update on progress made since Autumn Budget 2017, and
• Invitations for interested parties to give their views on proposed policy changes.
A summary of the matters that were disclosed follow:
1. Economy and fiscal forecasts
The Chancellor’s message in this part of his presentation was upbeat but cautious. He would consider relaxing his expenditure criteria, but only if the positive indicators continued. His consistent message was “there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but caution is still required”.
2. Progress since Autumn Budget 2017 items cited included:
3. Inviting views on future changes to the tax system.
These will include:
As mentioned in our introduction today, there was much “padding” to the Chancellor’s presentation, but the overall impression was a “steady as you go” approach. It will be interesting to see how wider political issues, such as the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, will play their part in the shaping of future fiscal policy. Only time will tell.
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