Let’s start with Brexit…
Having emphasised his support of the Prime Minister’s efforts to see the UK leave the EU as smoothly as possible, Hammond warned that the economy would become weaker with higher prices for consumers in the event of a no-deal Brexit. He went on to announce that there is a £26.6bn no deal ‘war chest’ with the amount from public finances having increased from £15.4bn. In a proclamation to Brexiters, the Chancellor said “The idea there is some readily available fix to avoid the consequences of a no-deal Brexit is just wrong.”
Economy has defied expectations
With a forecast of 1.2% growth for 2019, 1.4% in 2020 and a steady 1.6% thereafter to 2023, Philip Hammond was positive about the “record levels” of spending, saying that capital budgets set this summer will protect and encourage a productivity boost. The economy has grown for nine consecutive years with news that the 4.0% employment rate is the lowest since 1975.
Key points for business
- Following the announcement in the 2018 Budget to offer support for science and technology, the Chancellor said yesterday that competition rules in the digital area will increase consumer choice and innovation.
- A massive £79 million funding for an Edinburgh supercomputer with increased processing power will help create advancements in aerospace, climate science and medicine.
- From April 1st the co-investment rate employers have to pay will be reduced to 5% and levy-paying employers will be able to share up to 25% of levy funds with their supply chains.
- Professor Arin Dube, an American economist has been appointed to undertake a review of the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage after 2020 with a view to create “sustainable pay rises for millions of British workers”.
These are the main points from the 2019 Spring Statement which we hope have provided an insight. If any of the points have raised any concerns for you, please get in touch with one of our team in Manchester on 0161 905 1801, or in Warrington on 01925 830 830.