Spring Statement 2019 summary
Yesterday the Chancellor Philip Hammond issued his spring statement, this would usually have made more of a noise within the media but with the Prime Minister also holding the latest vote on Brexit yesterday it very much took a back seat.
The key highlights for you to be aware of include:
The chancellor described the economy as being “remarkably robust” adding that it has “defied expectations”. This was supported by GDP growth rates of 1.2% this year.
Mr Hammond very much used the Spring Statement to acknowledge the cloud of uncertainty over the economy due to Brexit and stated that “The most urgent task is to lift uncertainty.”
He also warned of a sharp and sudden spike in inflation under a no-deal, due to the economy operating close to full capacity and the impact of higher prices for imports. Whereas if a Brexit deal is reached, Hammond announced, the government will hold a full spending review in the summer. This will set departmental budgets, including three-year budgets for resource spending, and will shape the priorities of the Autumn Budget.
Business and enterprise:
Mr Hammond said that he wanted to “build on the UK’s fundamental strengths”, announcing a £37 billion productivity fund, focusing on improving skills throughout the workforce.
Housing and Environment:
Mr Hammond devoted a significant part of his speech to housing and the environment, announcing £3 billion for the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme, which he said would support the delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.
He also announced £717 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to support the construction of homes in West London, Cheshire, Didcot and Cambridge.
In conclusion there have not been any significant changes that we need to make you aware of with the focus of the government being firmly on Brexit with the Budget taking place in the autumn.
However one thing to bring to your attention is to ensure you make the most of this financial years ISA and pension allowances prior to 5th April.