Chancellor announces Spring Statement date

Chancellor announces Spring Statement date

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that his first Spring Statement will be delivered on Tuesday 13 March 2018.

Image result for Chancellor announces Spring Statement dateIn the 2016 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a major shake-up of the government’s fiscal timetable. This saw the abolition of the Autumn Statement, in favour of an Autumn Budget and a Spring Statement.

Commenting on the change, the government said: ‘A single Autumn Budget will mean tax changes are announced well in advance of the start of the tax year in which they will take effect.

‘There will be more time available to scrutinise draft tax legislation ahead of its introduction and commencement. Businesses and individual taxpayers should face less frequent changes to the tax system, helping to promote certainty and stability.’

In order to implement the changes, 2017 has seen two annual Budgets, with the ‘last ever’ Spring Budget having been delivered in March and the Chancellor’s first Autumn Budget having taken place a matter of weeks ago, on 22 November.

Mr Hammond had previously stated that he wished to ‘simplify’ the business of setting taxes and government spending, which had become ‘overcomplicated’.

The new Spring Statement will be used by the Chancellor as a way of responding to new economic forecasts produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), and to discuss long-term issues ahead of the 2018 Autumn Budget.

The government has stated that it will retain the right to ‘make changes to fiscal policy at the Spring Statement, should the economic circumstances require it’. However, it also stated that ‘the norm will be that the Chancellor will only make significant tax or spending changes at the Autumn Budget’.

2017 Autumn Budget – what to expect

2017 Autumn Budget – what to expect

Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver his 2017 Autumn Budget speech today at 12.30pm. We will be keeping you up to date on the key Budget announcements, and will be supplying a full summary which will appear on the site tomorrow morning.

Image result for 2017 autumn budget what to expectFollowing the release of new figures that revealed a rise in government borrowing in October, Mr Hammond faces an uphill battle in attempting to balance the books against a weakening economic backdrop.

In his Budget speech, the Chancellor is expected to announce a range of fiscal measures designed to help young people: Mr Hammond recently stated that it is ‘not acceptable’ that millennials are unable to get onto the property ladder.

As a result, many expect the Chancellor to announce a change to the way in which stamp duty land tax is charged for first-time homebuyers, with some experts predicting that Mr Hammond could scrap the tax altogether.

Meanwhile, others predict that the Chancellor will announce changes to income tax. He previously pledged to raise the personal allowance (PA) to £12,500 by 2020, and many anticipate that the PA could be frozen in today’s Budget speech.

The Chancellor is also rumoured to be considering a host of measures intended to help UK businesses, including an overhaul of the business rates system.

Following calls made by leading business groups, including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Mr Hammond may seek to stall the upcoming 3.9% business rates rise, due to come into effect from April next year, and look to abolish the so-called business rates ‘staircase tax’.

Furthermore, some industry experts believe that the government may also lower the VAT threshold, which currently stands at £85,000. However, the FSB has warned that reducing this threshold will ‘drain small businesses of time and money’, and create ‘a real drag on business output’.

Chancellor urged to remove age-related tax inequalities in Autumn Budget

Chancellor urged to remove age-related tax inequalities in Autumn Budget

In a new report, think tank the Resolution Foundation has urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to tackle age-related tax inequalities in the upcoming Autumn Budget.

Image result for Chancellor age-related tax inequalitiesThe Resolution Foundation has called for Mr Hammond to unfreeze working-age benefits in 2018 to help raise living standards for young families.

It also stated that, rather than adding new age-related inequalities into the UK’s tax system, the government should aim to tackle existing ones. As such, the Foundation suggested that UK workers of all ages should pay the same national insurance contributions (NICs).

The Resolution Foundation stated that equalising the tax treatment for workers of differing ages is progressive as ‘four-fifths of the revenues would come from the richest fifth of pensioners, with most unaffected’.

Commenting on the proposals, Laura Gardiner, Senior Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: ‘In recent weeks the Budget run-in has focused on a looming economic downgrade and preparations for Brexit. But the Chancellor should remember the bigger picture and deliver a Budget that tackles one of the biggest challenges Britain faces – our failure to deliver living standards progress for young people today.

‘The Chancellor should avoid ill-advised tax cuts for the young. Instead he should remove existing age-related tax inequalities to help fund the unfreezing of working-age benefits next year.’

The Chancellor will deliver the Autumn Budget on Wednesday 22 November. Make sure you keep an eye on our website for coverage of the key announcements.

The Chancellor’s first – and last – Spring Budget

The 2017 Spring Budget will be the last of its type. Probably.

Budget Front Image

Nunn Hayward 2017 Budget SummaryPDF

The publication of the Finance Bill in the spring/summer of this year will presage a change in Parliamentary proceedings. A second Budget in autumn 2017 followed by a Spring Statement in 2018 marks the start of a process enabling Parliament to scrutinise tax changes well before the tax year where most will take effect.

As if the domestic ‘flip-flopping’ of a long-standing timetable wasn’t enough, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered his first Budget speech against a backdrop of Brexit uncertainty.

Before he stood up, punters could have obtained long odds about witnessing a wise-cracking ‘Spreadsheet Phil’, as he has become known, standing at the despatch box (the joke-o-meter registered seven during his hour-long address).

But beyond the laughs from the government benches combined with Opposition scowls, the Chancellor sent out some fairly serious messages.

For starters, as part of a fiscally-tight Budget there was the Chancellor’s decision to target the
self-employed, company owners and investors in a bid to raise billions of pounds and provide a “strong and stable platform” for the UK’s negotiations as it navigates a path away from the EU.

He also proposed to enhance the fairness in the UK’s tax system with a view to transforming the economy into one that works for everyone.

With ISA allowances set to be worth £20,000 from April 2017 and a reduction from £5,000 to £2,000 in the tax-free dividend allowance from April 2018, here are two opportunities offering professional advisers the chance to demonstrate their expertise admirably to clients.

Throw in the need for businesses to seek out rates advice on their premises following the impending changes to the system, combined with the relief measures announced by the Chancellor, and the Spring Budget could prove a Spring-board to the forging of robust relationships between advisers and clients.

And that’s before the Chancellor even deigns to delve back into his joke book to help buff up his Autumn Budget announcements…

For more information on any of the announcements in the Budget yesterday, contact us on 01753 888211 or email



Business groups publish Budget wish lists

Ahead of the 2017 Spring Budget on 8 March, business groups have set out their wishes and priorities for both business and the UK economy.

In a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called for the government to ‘back businesses’ growth ambitions’ to help build prosperity across the UK, and to work alongside firms to ‘prioritise stability’ during periods of economic uncertainty.


The CBI has also urged the government to tackle the UK’s ‘outdated’ business rates regime and limit its ‘growing burden’ on businesses.

Echoing the call made by the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) also advised the government to take action on ‘delivering real reform’ to the business rates system.

The business group called for the government to abandon the ‘fiscal neutrality principle’ in business rates reform, labelling this as an ‘unacceptable barrier’ to the revision of the system.

The BCC also recommended that the government bring forward the switch from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to April 2017, instead of during 2020, as is currently planned.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has advocated for a ‘pro-business Budget’ that supports self-employed individuals, urging the government to help more people start up in business. Commenting on the issue, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, asserted that the FSB is seeking ‘changes to the social security system so that it better reflects today’s economy’, alongside ‘incentives to help the self-employed pay for their retirement’.

Reflecting on the government’s response to its Making Tax Digital (MTD) consultation feedback, the FSB also proposed that HMRC alters its tax digitisation timetable, and implements the MTD initiative in 2020, rather than in 2018 as is currently planned.

The Chancellor will present the 2017 Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March. Coverage of the key announcements will be available on our website, so please visit regularly.

2016 Autumn Statement: Chancellor changes rules governing benefits-in-kind

In his Autumn Statement speech, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans to significantly tighten the rules that currently govern benefits-in-kind (BiK) and salary sacrifice.


Under the government’s plans, frivolous uses of the salary sacrifice loophole will undergo a major crackdown, with the government stating that they will ‘look specifically at how the taxation of BiK and expenses could be made fairer and more coherent’.

The Chancellor revealed that, from April 2017, the tax and employer national insurance advantages associated with salary sacrifice schemes will be removed.

Benefits such as gym memberships, school fees, accommodation fees and mobile phones will be affected under the government’s new rules.

However, BiK arrangements relating to pensions, childcare, ultra-low emission cars and the Cycle to Work scheme will be excluded. Arrangements in place before April 2017 will be protected until April 2018. Specific long-term arrangements will also be protected until 2021.

Commenting on the issue, the Chancellor said: ‘The majority of employees pay tax in a cash salary. But some are able to sacrifice salary and pay much lower tax on BiK.

‘This is unfair, and so from April 2017 employers and employees who use these schemes will pay the same taxes as everyone else.’

New Chancellor Philip Hammond rules out emergency Budget but hints at policy change

In his first media appearances as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond has effectively ruled out an ‘emergency Budget’ following the Brexit vote.

However, he did hint at a possible change in the direction of the Government’s fiscal policy, suggesting that the Autumn Statement later this year could contain significant measures.


Mr Hammond told Sky News: ‘There’s a lot of work now to do. The Prime Minister made clear we will do an Autumn Statement in the usual way in the autumn and we’ll look carefully over the summer at the situation.’

Without stating specific details, Mr Hammond suggested that the pace at which Britain cuts its deficit could be slowed, and that meeting George Osborne’s target of a surplus by the end of 2020 was no longer a priority.

He said: ‘Of course we’ve got to reduce the deficit further but looking at how and when and at what pace we do that, and how we measure our progress in doing that is something that we now need to consider in the light of the new circumstances that the economy is facing.’

Mr Hammond admitted that the economy had suffered a ‘shock’ immediately after the referendum vote, due to ‘businesses pausing investment decisions’, but insisted that the Conservative Party’s swift action in installing a new Cabinet team would stabilise the country.

He told ITV News: ‘Now we’ve got the new Government in place, the new team in place, and people can see that we’re working together across that referendum divide in the party to deliver the best possible deal for Britain, I think confidence will gradually begin to return and people will start to see the shape of the future we’re mapping out.’

The new Prime Minister Theresa May has already suggested that George Osborne’s fiscal targets were no longer relevant. In a speech launching her bid to become Prime Minister, she had said: ‘we should no longer seek to reach a budget surplus by the end of the Parliament.’