Spring Statement 2019 at a glance

13th March 2019

Spring Statement 2019 announcements made on 13 March.

This is meant to be the last Spring Statement before Brexit, but there could be another Budget once/if the UK leaves the EU and the road ahead is clearer. We have no clarity at the moment.

So with Brexit just 16 days away, the Chancellor has attempted to provide some economic and spending vision, even though this may have to change radically in a few weeks' time. All measures are prefixed by "if we have a deal...".

Businesses are desperate for certainty, but the Chancellor cannot provide this. We are also only 18 days from Making VAT Digital, yet so many businesses are still unprepared.

Further analysis can be downloaded here.

Brief recap – key changes previously announced:

  • Corporation tax reducing from 20% to 17% by 2020
  • Personal income tax allowance increases from April 2019 to £12,500 and Higher Rate Threshold to £50,000.
  • VAT threshold frozen at £85,000 for two years
  • Making VAT Digital starts 1 April 2019, and from 1 October 2019 for trusts, charities and VAT groups etc.
  • Additional stamp duty on foreign buyers of UK properties
  • New loan charges on disguised remuneration starting 5 April 2019
  • Annual investment Allowance increased to £1m for 2 years
  • Employment allowance – from April 2020 reformed for NI bills below £100,000
  • CGT private residences relief – final 18 months exemption reduced to 9 months from April 2020
  • Entrepreneurs’ Relief – one year qualifying period increased to two years.
  • IR35 roll out to private sector from April 2020 will apply to large and medium sized businesses - consultation published
  • April 2019 – National Living Wage will rise by 4.9% to £8.21

Spring Statement 2019 key measures announced:

  • The "UK economy is remarkably robust"
  • Inflation set to remain around 2%
  • Austerity will come to and end in the forthcoming spending review
  • If Brexit deal agreed, there will be a 3 year spending review before the summer recess concluded alongside the autumn budget
  • Housing - £3bn affordable homes guarantee scheme to help deliver 30,000 affordable homes
  • Late payments for small businesses - company audit committees must report in annual accounts on policies on payments
  • £100m for extra policing to cut down on knife crime
  • Temporary tariff regime for no deal Brexit published
  • HMRC's strategy for offshore evasion published.
  • Capital allowances for non-residential buildings consultation published

There were no tax announcements or any mention of business rate reforms or the much-anticipated social care green paper.

Comment from Andrew Browne, Head of Tax

"As expected, the Chancellor was unable to announce any real measures or future fiscal plans. This is not a surprise as he, like the rest of us, needs to know what our future relationship with the EU will be.  There is no light at the end of the tunnel as the politicians have demonstrated that they cannot agree on any part of Brexit. It is about time they tried to get a consensus so that a sensible negotiation with Europe can take place.  If businesses were run in the same way as Parliament has conducted itself they would not survive. I urge the politicians to stop playing politics and sort out the mess they are creating.  At present how can any business plan for the future as we still do not know whether its no deal, remain, a customs union or May’s deal?" 


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[Gary Mackley-Smith]


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