Budget: The countdown is on

As we count down the days until the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget here are a few things to expect – as well as a few of the need-to-knows.

A few changes
Phillip Hammond changed the way Spring and Autumn Budgets were delivered. Last year saw the first Autumn Budget of its kind, where the Chancellor announced the Government’s plans for tax and spending for the financial year beginning April 2019.

If you normally tune in to the Autumn Budget, you will perhaps notice that this one is being held slightly earlier than usual. Instead of being held in November, it will be held on Monday 29 October 2018. One other change to this year’s line-up, will be the starting time. It will begin at 15.30, as opposed to the usual start time of 12.30pm.

The reason given for these changes in delivery was to avoid any clashes later on with Brexit negotiations.

What to expect
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, will address Parliament and present his Budget in a speech that is expected to last about an hour. The record for the longest continuous Budget speech was by William Gladstone in 1853 – it lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes.

The Budget normally contains details on the national debt, whether it has worsened or improved. It will also contain any planned tax rises, such as VAT, or on products such as tobacco, fuel or alcohol. The Chancellor will also go through inflation increases, minimum wage increases as well as rising thresholds for personal tax.

All eyes will be on the Chancellor to see how he plans to address the NHS funding gap. We know the Government needs to find an extra £20bn by 2023 and there have been hints that it will be found by increasing taxes.

Another big theme that tends to crop up regularly is housing. According to recent news, the Prime Minister has announced that the borrowing cap for local councils wanting to build more homes will be scrapped. This could allow for more homes to be built, however, it could also potentially add to the country’s national debt.

A rabbit from the hat?
You may have heard this term applied to previous Budgets and Statements in the past. The Chancellor is renowned for leaving one or two surprises for the day itself. Last year this was the scrapping of SDLT for first time buyers, but we are all anxious to see whether this year’s white rabbit may relate to Brexit.

We will be watching closely on the day and reporting events as they happen. Keep an eye out on our website and social media pages, and, of course, feel free to get in touch.