Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement 2019 was overshadowed by ongoing Brexit negotiations, with even economic forecasts having a larger margin for error than usual. There were few tax changes, leaving the possibility of a Summer Budget on the table.
Here are a few of our key outcomes from yesterday’s Spring Statement. If you have any queries about the issues raised, please contact us.
The UK economy continues to grow for the ninth consecutive year, with wages and employment increasing. Although the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast growth to be at the slowest pace since this year’s financial crisis, this slowdown is expected to be temporary.
The Treasury is to conduct a full spending review, to be concluded before the Autumn Budget. There will be a ‘deal dividend’ if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. The Brexit war chest will be spent on lifting austerity and business uncertainty and encouraging investment.
Making Tax Digital
The government will take a ‘light touch’ approach to penalising companies who do not meet MTD deadlines, as long as they are making an effort to comply with regulations. They have, however, postponed plans to extend MTD to other taxes and businesses in 2020.
The Chancellor insists that the government will make technology companies “pay their fair share” to ensure fair competition, consumer protection and choice. His intention is that the government “will lead the world in delivering a digital economy that works for everyone.” Funding will go towards furthering scientific discovery for tech companies producing lasers and supercomputers.
Open For Business
Although Britain is leaving the EU, the message is that the country is still very much a global entity. From June, the government is abolishing paper landing cards at Eurostar terminals and airports for countries including the US, Australia, Canada, South Korea and Japan. PHD level roles will also be excluded from visa caps.
If you have any questions about Spring Statement 2019, the Budget or their effect on you and your business, please contact us here.