Hammond to deliver Budget 2017 on March 8th

The government has set the date for Budget 2017, saying it will be delivered on Wednesday March 8th.

Scheduled to be the last ever fiscal event to be held by the government in the Spring, it will be chancellor Philip Hammond’s first ever Budget.

But it will not be the first time that Mr Hammond has announced the government’s plans for the economy and the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that they are based on.

In November, he delivered Autumn Statement 2016 -- a tax and spending package that was fiercely ‘anti-contracting,’ but also reformist in terms of future fiscal events.     

In fact, Budget 2017 will be the final budget announcement to be made at springtime as future budgets -- just one a year is envisioned -- will be held in the autumn.

Her Majesty’s Treasury explained the thinking: “It will mean businesses and people face less frequent changes to the tax system, helping to promote certainty and stability.”

However, there will still be a “second Budget” before the end of 2017, the Treasury added, ahead of the switch to the new timetable. And that timetable, includes a “Spring Statement.”

Referring to what sounds like at least a mini-Budget (the Autumn Statement format that is being axed had morphed into a mini-budget), officials explained: “The OBR is required by law to produce two forecasts a year. One of these will remain at Budget. The other will fall in the spring and the government will respond to it with a Spring Statement.”

Moreover, despite the envisioned respite for taxpayers, businesses and their advisers, the government says it reserves the right to “make changes to fiscal policy at the Spring Statement if the economic circumstances require it.”

Nova Contracting, an advisory for contractors, knows of one existing government policy that its clients might be hoping goes the way of Autumn Statements on March 8th.

“Next year most personal service companies and self-employed individuals will be required to report quarterly to HMRC under the new Making Tax Digital rules,” the advisory said.

“Although it is a further administrative burden on a sector which has had more than its fair share of legislative changes to contend with… [the MTD] proposals are still subject to consultation, so we’ll continue to monitor that and look out for any announcements in the Budget”.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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