Chancellor to Deliver 2019 Spring Statement This Week

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March 21st 2019
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Chancellor to Deliver 2019 Spring Statement This Week

Philip Hammond gives the pre-Brexit mini-Budget this Wednesday, March 13th.

Since 2018 we have been had the Autumn Statement moved to the the spring and the Budget moved to the autumn. This year's event is especially important as Brexit looms just two weeks later on March 29th.

The Chancellor will start his speech around 12:30pm and give an insight into the state of the country's finances with forecasts from the OBR.

Last year's Spring Statement lasted 25 minutes and did not have any major tax announcements, but instead focused on forecasts, state of finances and discussions on previous Budget announcements.

Normally bigger changes to tax are left until the autumn, but considering the state of Brexit negotiations and Hammond's previous comments that he would make heavy changes if required, we could see big announcements this week.

If the country is set to leave the European Union without a deal having been negotiated in the next two weeks there will likely need to be big changes to deal with the possible repercussions. Prime Minister Theresa May is holding her 'meaningful vote' just a day before the Spring Statement, this Tuesday March 12th, with MP's voting on Theresa May's deal - a deal previously voted down in January but now resubmitted with changes. If the Prime Minister loses the vote on the amended deal, then a new vote will occur for either leaving the EU with no deal or delaying leaving by extending Article 50.

The meaningful vote is therefore not a concrete assurance on whether there will be a no-deal scenario for Philip Hammond to account for in Wednesday's Statement. If the vote wins then the Spring Statement could still have announcements as there would be a deal in place for future forecasts, otherwise there are still two uncertain outcomes going forward.

At the time of Theresa May's first Brexit deal vote the Treasury had received an boost to income due to higher than previous tax-take on Self Assessment and Capital Gains income - whether or not this extra leeway in finances could see some giveaways on Wednesday remains to be seen.

If a deal is secured then Hammond would be in the position to spend over £15 billion on public services as a 'dividend' from leaving the EU. On the other hand, the money would be used to stabilise the economy from the fallout of a no-deal scenario.

There cannot be any strong predictions this year, but we will be following the events on Wednesday and updating as necessary here and on our Twitter, @uktaxcalculator.

In the meantime, refresh yourself on the changes announced for the new 2019/2020 tax year, which starts next month, with the 2019/2020 tax rates and allowances and a summary of the Autumn Budget 2018 from a last October, which contains a breakdown of changes announced for April 2019 onward.

As usual, we have already updated our tools and calculators for April 2019 changes, you just have to select tax year 2019/2020 in the options.

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