Key Points from Chancellor’s Spring Statement (Thursday 13th March 2019):
Mr Hammond assured us that measures have been taken to ensure the UK will keep good working relationships within the financial services sector across international markets and welcome all new trading opportunities following Brexit.
The Government will issue the first National Infrastructure Strategy relating to the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment. When the UK exits the EU, the strategy will put into place new technologies and create a greener economy ready for the 21st century.
The Government hopes to work with the private sector by getting them to share in the investment of £600 billion in infrastructure projects. Discussions on this will end 5 June 2019.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted the UK economy will grow by 1.4% in 2020 and a further 1.6% pa in the next 3 years to come. Even though this year’s prediction was lower by 1.2%.
UK gross domestic product (GDP) is also set to rise by 1.2% in 2019, less than what was predicted in the 2018 Autumn Budget, the economy is forecast to grow over the next 5 years.
The OBR predicts that in 2023 borrowing will reduce to £13.5 billion, below what they originally predicted of £19.8 billion.
The OBR also anticipates inflation to drop back to 2% pa, the Bank of England’s trend growth, falling back from its current 3% pa.
Philip Hammond suggested this is a ‘deal dividend’ as the UK may increase in wealth and spending and unemployment may also be reduced after the uncertainty of Brexit looming and a potential No Deal exit passes. Was this a ‘barbed’ comment to shame MPs to vote ‘yes’ to the deal?
A statement from the Digital Competition Expert Panel was issued looking at changing the UK’s competition framework and introducing a digital markets unit to support larger competition, consumer choice and be more advanced for the UK and internationally.
Additional funding was also promised to the British Business Bank to aid growth and capital following Brexit.
HMRC will be given policy information for updating their strategy by the government so steps can be taken in dealing with tax avoiding, evasion and non-compliance issues.
A fairly flat Spring Statement given that Brexit is still in utter chaos.