Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, will deliver his first Autumn Statement later today. Here’s what you can and can’t expect from his first statement.
What is the Autumn Statement?
The Autumn Statement is an annual update on the Treasury’s plan for the economy and it’s held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Think of it like the “light” version of the Budget, similar to a Coca Cola Light and a normal one.
Today’s statement will be, for the first time, delivered by Philip Hammond. He is the new Chancellor after George Osborne was fired when Theresa May became Prime Minister after the Brexit surprise.
When is the Autumn Statement?
The statement will happen today, November 23. It usually starts at around 12.30pm after the Prime Minister’s Questions.
How long it will take is hard to say as is can vary in length. A good benchmark is probably around one hour.
How is it different from the Budget?
The difference between the two isn’t massive. The Autumn Statement appears to be less weighty with fewer announcement of less significance.
Technically, the biggest difference would, however, be that at the Budget the Chancellor is allowed to drink throughout whilst they have to stay sober for the Autumn Statement.
What can we expect this year?
The Autumn Statement has experienced a couple of changes over recent years. It’s now more of an opportunity for the Chancellor to reveal some deals to business and individuals whilst also giving an outlook on the overall health of the UK’s economy.
What will Hammond’s main points be?
BREXIT: With being his first big speech since becoming Chancellor, chances are Hammond will focus a lot of his statement on setting out the support the economy will need to make it through divorcing the EU.
BORROWING: Mr Hammond moved away from former Chancellor Osborne’s pledge to balance the books by the end of this parliament. This gives him the necessary leeway to borrow more money, leading us to expect a drastic step away from Osborne’s tight purse management.
HOUSING: Philip Hammond is expected to include measure in his statement to help smaller house builders which includes a £3 billion housing fund to “get Britain building”.
STAMP DUTY: The call to scrap the additional stamp duty surcharge that was only introduced earlier this year may be heard by Hammond, recent data, however, suggests that buy-to-let investors have not been deterred by the surcharge.
CORPORATION TAX: The new Chancellor has already made indications that he won’t lower corporation tax to 15% to boost the economy, and will instead stick to plans to cut the rate to 17% by 2020, from currently 20%.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The Chancellor has already hinted at the fact that, if there is any fiscal stimulus in the Autumn Statement, it would be surrounding the UK’s road and railways. He wants to move from cheap money to boosting growth in favour of more infrastructure spending.