13 March 2018

The Spring Statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his Spring Statement today

This is a new event on the UK’s fiscal calendar.

In the Autumn Statement 2016, shortly after he became Chancellor, Mr Hammond announced that he was moving the Spring Budget to the Autumn, and substituting a Spring Statement for the Autumn Statement. This was achieved by having both a Spring and an Autumn Budget in 2017, with the result that today’s speech by Mr Hammond was the first Spring Statement.

However, the change from Autumn Statement to Spring Statement was not simply a matter of timing. Unlike the Autumn Statement, which was effectively a ‘mini-Budget’, the Spring Statement is not intended to be a ‘major fiscal event’. It is intended simply to give the Chancellor the opportunity to respond to the most recent forecasts for the UK economy from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Mr Hammond indicated when making his original announcement that "If unexpected changes in the economy require it, then I will, of course, announce actions at the Spring Statement, but I won’t make significant changes twice a year just for the sake of it."

True to his word, the Chancellor today made no significant announcements of definite changes related to tax, but the Government issued consultation documents (or responses to previous consultations) in the following areas:

  • Financing growth in innovative firms: allowing Entrepreneurs’ Relief on gains before dilution
  • Financing growth in innovative firms: Enterprise Investment Scheme knowledge-intensive fund consultation
  • Corporate tax and the digital economy: position paper
  • Taxation of self-funded work-related training: extension of tax relief for training by employees and the self-employed
  • Cash and digital payments in the new economy
  • Extension of the existing security deposit legislation to include CT and CIS deductions
  • The role of online platforms in ensuring tax compliance by their users
  • VAT, Air Passenger Duty and tourism in Northern Ireland: call for evidence
  • VAT registration threshold: call for evidence
  • Alternative method of VAT collection: split payment
  • Business rates: delivering more frequent revaluations
  • Tackling the plastic problem: using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste
  • Tax treatment of heated tobacco products: response to consultation

The text of these documents is available here.

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