Spring Statement 2019: expectations

At around 12.30pm on Wednesday 13 March 2019, Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to deliver his Spring Statement to the House of Commons.

Last year, he limited the speech to a length of around 20 minutes and focused on announcing updated economic forecasts, in keeping with his commitment to holding only one major fiscal event a year.

It's likely that Spring Statement 2019 will be just as low-key, if not more so.

Response to OBR forecasts

The main part of the speech will consist of the Chancellor's response to new forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

These will set out the outlook for the economy and public finances, and assess whether the Government is likely to achieve its fiscal targets.

Consultations and announcements

The Spring Statement will also be a chance to announce consultations on new policy changes or provide an update on those already in progress.

These might include areas such as taxation in the digital economy, environmental measures to tackle climate change, and the extension of IR35 to the private sector which is set to take place from 2020.

Hammond is also expected to unveil an investment of £200 million in scientific research, including laser technology and genetic research.

Brexit

With the UK still set to leave the EU in less than three weeks' time, Brexit - and its potential impact on the economy - is likely to overshadow the speech as a whole.

The Chancellor has reserved his right to upgrade the Statement to a full fiscal event "if the economic or fiscal outlook changes materially in-year".

Alternatively, there could be hints at an emergency Budget later in the year, depending on whether a Brexit deal is secured.

Talk to us for more information on the Spring Statement.

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