What does the Spring Statement 2019 mean for you?
The 2019 Spring Statement saw Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond reveal many plans for the future of the UK economy hang in the balance of a Brexit deal.
Mr Hammond issued a warning on Wednesday (March 13) over failure to reach a consensus over a Brexit deal, stating that the indecision leaves “a cloud of uncertainty hanging over our economy.”
The Chancellor urged the Cabinet to eliminate the possibility of a no deal Brexit due to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasting that growth will drop to the lowest level since the economic crunch of 2008.
He continued: “…provided that we do reach a deal to leave the European Union with an orderly transition…this country…for the first time in a decade…will have genuine and sustainable choices about its future”
With no resolution in sights for Brexit, it was warned that the indecision in Westminster means that the OBR’s forecasts will have a fast approaching expiry date should a decision continue to be postponed.
Spring Statement – How it could affect you?
The benefit freeze continues…
Mr Hammond disregarded the cries for an end to the ongoing freeze on working age benefits. This was met with high criticism as this will leave recipients with a £200 financial squeeze next year, which will rise to £580 after including the full impact of the freeze itself.
It was announced in the 2018 Autumn Budget that the government planned to introduce a £700 million reform targeted to small businesses to help them hire more apprentices. The Spring Statement declared that this now be introduced at the beginning of the next financial year in April.
Social Care will be reviewed
Whilst there were no major declarations made in terms of social care, the Chancellor did promise that it will become part of a wide-ranging summer spending review.
The OBR have predicted 600,00 jobs by 2023 and for wage growth to increase by 3% or higher every year. However, this once again is dependent on parliament coming to a reasonable exit deal with the EU.
The Chancellor did assure that should an exit deal be secured, he would conduct a spending review before the 2019 Autumn Budget. This will ultimately decide how any spare cash will be spent – which could be anything from increasing service spending to maintaining low taxes.
However, given the indecision currently surrounding Brexit, Parliament is more divided than ever. With the deadline continually being delayed, all these promises could turn out to be empty ones.