The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, today made his Spring Statement. This wasn’t a mini-budget, but instead an update on the state of the economy, and an announcement of a series of future Government consultations.
In terms of the economy, The Chancellor upgraded his predictions for growth during 2018 to 1.5%, from the 1.4% predicted in November 2017. The predictions for 2019 and 2020 remained the same at 1.3% growth. He also predicted that inflation will fall from the current 3% to 2% by the end of 2018; and that wages are expected to rise faster than prices over the next five years.
He announced that the next business rates valuation will be brought forward to 2021, and thereafter will take place every three years.
He reiterated that the National Living Wage will rise in April, as previously announced, to £7.83 per hour.
Finally he announced the following Government consultations:
- A reduction in tax for the least polluting vans to “help the great British white van driver go green”
- A possible tax on single use plastic, including takeaway cartons and disposable cups
- A new ‘tech tax’ looking at how firms like Google and Facebook are taxed
- A new VAT collection mechanism for online sales
- The role of cash in the economy, including future demand for 1p and 2p pieces and £50 notes