12th of February 2019

What is the date of the 2019 Spring Statement?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that he will present this year’s Spring Statement on Wednesday 13 March 2019, crucially just two and a half weeks before Brexit is due to take place.

We consider what to expect from Philip Hammond’s response to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecasts next month.

Could Brexit impact the Spring Statement?

This will be the second Spring Statement to take place, as set out in the changes to the schedule made by Mr Hammond in the 2016 Autumn Statement.

Presently, the Autumn Budget is the main fiscal announcement of the year. However, as announced in the 2018 Autumn Budget, Mr Hammond said that he ‘will take whatever action is appropriate, including, if necessary, reserving the right to upgrade the Spring Statement to a full Fiscal Event.’

There are currently no announcements that indicate this, but could Mr Hammond’s statement suggest that the Spring Statement turns into a full-scale Budget?

Whether or not the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, the possibility of an emergency Budget remains – although it’s more likely that this will happen if there is a no-deal Brexit.

What else will be in this year’s Spring Statement?

Amid Brexit uncertainty, many expect the Spring Statement to show a slowdown in growth. Plus, with news of crises facing UK retailers – as one in 10 shops are currently unoccupied – there are hopes that the Statement will address concerns raised by business rate increases and rents due.

Regarding tax legislation updates, the Government originally vowed to extend the IR35 reform to the private sector in 2017, with a consultation launched in May 2018. There has been little progress on the reform since. Could the Spring Statement bring more news on the reform this year?

As a reminder, what was announced in the 2018 Autumn Budget?

The 2018 Autumn Budget was delivered on 29 October 2018. The main changes announced affected personal tax allowance and increases on the National Living Wage, which will be introduced in the new financial year. Mr Hammond also announced more funding for housing, extended Stamp Duty relief, and tax updates to fit the digital age. Read more in our summary here.

Whatever happens in the 2019 Spring Statement, TBL Accountants will keep you up to date, letting you know how the announcements will affect you and your business.

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