Spring Statement 2019

14th March 2019

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Yesterday lunchtime saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer deliver his Spring Statement against a backdrop of substantial uncertainty given that we are a little over two weeks away from the 29th March and the possibility of Brexit without any clearer idea of what form that may take and indeed if or when it will happen. 

As expected, there was little of substance within the Spring Statement given that any strategic look at the longer-term financial positon of the country cannot possibly happen until the elephant in the room that is Brexit has been resolved once and for all.  It would not be a huge surprise if there were to be a further statement in the coming months once things become more certain.

In his speech, the Chancellor provided an update on the economy and responded to the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts.  In addition, he launched consultations on various aspects of the tax system together with updates on earlier consultations.

Given that Making Tax Digital for VAT is almost upon us it was a relief to find, hidden away in the supporting documents, confirmation that the government will not extend MTD to income tax or corporation tax in 2020.  As this had been the suggestion in previous publications it is clear that a more common sense approach has now been taken to let the MTD for VAT system bed in before the digital approach is extended further.  Of course, the cynic in us may suggest that significant government resources have been diverted away from MTD development to focus instead on Brexit planning! 

We’ve now published our Spring Statement briefing and it can be downloaded here:

Spring Statement 2019