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Spring Statement Recap

14th March 2018 | Mike Lamb

This week saw Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the exchequer deliver his Spring Statement which is an outlook by HM Treasury with regards to the financial and economic state of the United Kingdom as a whole. Whilst it was known prior to the address that no new tax or spending decisions would be announced as part of the statement, there were a few points of interest raised before the Autumn budget due later this year.

Included as part of the Spring Statement, the following points were raised:

  • There will be a fresh consultation with regards to reducing VED (road tax) rates for the cleanest vans. This consultation will start before April and will focus on CO2 emissions rather than air quality with the potential introduction of a first-year band similar to cars.
  • There will be an investigation to see if there is any evidence that agricultural "red" diesel leads to poor air quality in towns & cities.
  • Cities have been invited to bid for funds from an allocated £840m pot to fix roads and improve local transport links - this fund unfortunately doesn't stretch to "local" roads and won't help the state of roads in general away from cities. With many UK roads looking like they've been subjected to a barrage of artillery shells, the RAC has recommended that 5p per litre of fuel duty be ringfenced to support the ongoing maintenance of Britain's roads, which they estimate would raise £11.8Bn over a five year period.
  • Future funding decisions by government departments will be informed by new annual spending reviews.

With the ever-changing economic climate of the country and the continuing uncertainty surrounding "Brexit", few people will be surprised at a fairly non-committal Spring Statement from Mr. Hammond, though many will be apprehensive ahead of the Autumn budget later in the year, potentially rightly so.

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