Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his Spring Statement 2019 and from a financial planning point of view there is not much to say. There were however a few interesting announcements on the economy more broadly.
What is the Spring Statement 2019
For those of you who are not entirely sure what the Spring Statement 2019 is, it’s a chance for the Chancellor to update us all on how the UK economy is doing.
You may remember back in George Osborne’s time, he generally delivered two budgets a year. It’s been said that he loved the limelight and his moment to shine, hence the two big events for the year.
Mr Hammond it appears is far more reserved and happy to go back to the traditional once-a-year-budget.
So this Spring Statement 2019 is just a mini update, it’s not intended to be a platform to announce major tax changes.
So what was said in the Spring Statement 2019
The UK economy is still doing well despite all the Brexit gloom. We are in a position most other European countries would love to be in right now.
The Chancellor did caveat this by saying that some of the forecasts would depend on their being an orderly Brexit (Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement).
- A review of the National Living Wage potentially meaning a pay rise for millions. It’s already been announced that it will rise to £8.21 per hour.
- Citizens from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea will be allowed to use passport e-gates to help speed up queues at airports.
- The Chancellor wants to drive more Research and Development in the UK and has said PhD students will be exempt from a cap on high skilled visas.
- The Competition and Markets Authority will be reviewing the big tech firms like Google and Facebook to see if they can limit their advertising powers.
- Another £3 billion to build 30,000 new affordable homes. The government aims to build 300,000 new homes a year.
- New homes will be banned from using fossil fuels from 2025.
So pension tax relief, ISA allowances and Business Relief all remain for now.
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