Goodbye to the Autumn Statement

The most significant announcement at last month’s Autumn Statement was possibly the announcement that this would be the last Autumn Statement.

Leading professionals have long made the case for a move to a single fiscal event and this was referenced by the Chancellor in the statement.

The Chancellor said: “This change will allow for greater parliamentary scrutiny of Budget measures ahead of their implementation. It is a long-overdue reform to our tax policy-making process and brings the UK into line with best practice recommended by the IMF, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Institute for Government and many others.”

Against a background of uncertainty over Brexit and the health of the UK economy, this move will be widely welcomed. An Autumn Budget will give businesses time to plan for the next financial year with certainty about the tax regime they will be dealing with. It should also mean fewer changes to manage, giving business owners more time to focus on running their businesses.

When the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and the Institute for Government (IfG) wrote to Mr Hammond in September, Paul Johnson, the Director of the IFS said: “Nearly £4 in every £10 earned in the economy is taken in tax. How the tax system works matters enormously to us all. The current system for tax policy making is not fit for purpose. Too many changes are sprung on the country in too many fiscal events with too little sense of direction, consultation or evaluation.”

Link: Autumn Statement