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