13 Mar Spring Statement 2019
With so much uncertainty around Brexit, it is understandable that there are doubts as to whether the Spring Statement 2019 will happen and, if it does, what it will entail. Not one to shy away from an opinion, Leodis Director, Phil Organ shares his opinion ahead of the announcement:
Today, Wednesday 13th March, Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivers his Spring Statement to Parliament but you would be forgiven for being blissfully unaware in advance. In truth the Statement carries less importance since the Chancellor adopted the Autumn Budget as the annual notification of changes to the tax system with the Spring Statement retained to update on economic matters.
This year, of course is unlike any other year with the attention on Brexit with the UK scheduled to leave the EU just sixteen days after the Statement. The Chancellor will have prepared his speech ahead of the ‘meaningful vote’ on the Prime Minister’s seemingly doomed deal held yesterday and it is likely to be full of caveats – and for good reason.
In the Autumn, the Chancellor reported that the UK’s fiscal position had improved ahead of schedule so that he had an extra £15bn in the coffers. January saw a record month for tax receipts in the UK. There is scope to allocate funds even though the acclaimed ‘end of austerity’ has got somewhat lost in the current political turmoil.
So, no big tax giveaways (that would be for the Autumn Budget anyway) but a ‘steady as she goes’ message packed with economic data for experts to go over. It would be no surprise to find a headline move on knife crime allocating money to police forces to prioritise dealing with the epidemic.
There will be confirmation of funds set aside for a no-deal Brexit and, no doubt, plans for an emergency Budget if this scenario became reality.
All in all, the Statement is likely to pass with little controversy and Parliament will get back to dealing with the Brexit and all the uncertainty surrounding our future relationship with the EU.