Despite being in the midst of the Brexit negotiations, yesterday proved that the show must go on as, right on schedule, Chancellor Phillip Hammond unveiled his 2019 Spring Statement to Parliament on 13th March 2019.
With Brexit looming, there was little of significance in terms of changes to the Autumn Budget 2018, although the Chancellor did announce that a full spending review would be completed and concluded before the autumn budget.
From the limited information given, you may wonder just what this year’s Statement means for you, as a contractor. Well, look no further, as we’ve helpfully summarised the points which may affect you over the next few months:
- With the Brexit issue as yet unresolved, the proposed spending review is assuming the “deal is agreed over the next few weeks and the uncertainty hanging over our economy is lifted”.
- The public finances set aside for a no-deal Brexit have been increased to £26.6bn, amid warnings that this would weaken the economy and lead to higher prices for consumers.
- In terms of growth, this was originally forecast to be 1.6% in 2019 at the Autumn Budget but has now been revised to 1.2%. Growth for 2021, 2022 and 2023 has been re-forecast to be 1.6% each year.
- The forecast for borrowing in 2018-19 has also been revised and has been reduced by £3bn from the initial forecast in the Autumn Budget. It is also now expected to be lower in all subsequent years to 2023-24.
The next Statement will be Autumn Budget 2019, which will potentially be the first one since the UK has left the European Union!