The Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the 2018 Spring Statement yesterday, giving people and businesses the certainty and stability to plan for the future.
Hammond said there is “light at the end of the tunnel” for the UK economy; here is a summary of the Statement:
The UK economy has grown every year since 2010, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revising their forecast for growth this year from 1.4% to 1.5%.
3 million more people are in work since 2010, the OBR forecasts more jobs will become available in every year of this parliament.
Over 500,000 more people will enjoy the security of a regular pay-packet by 2022.
Real wage growth is expected, with the National Living Wage increasing to £7.83 next month.
Since the Autumn Statement in 2016, the Government has committed to £60 billion of spending, investing in Britain’s future. Of this, £2.2 billion is committed to education and skills and £31 billion is committed to infrastructure, R&D and housing through the National Productivity Investment Fund.
Taxes have been cut for 31 million working people by raising the personal allowance threshold, removing tax completely for more than 4 million people since 2010.
A balanced approach is being taken with a focus on reducing debt, supporting public services, investing in the nation’s future, keeping taxes low. Ultimately building a Britain fit for the future and an economy that works for everyone.
Support for UK businesses
Since the Autumn Statement in 2016, plans have been set out to support the enterprise and ambition of businesses, “unleashing our creators and innovators, inventors and discoverers”.
The Chancellor confirms “we must embrace new technology of the future and provide the skills to benefit from them, to tackle the long standing productivity challenges we are facing.”
Business rates are being reduced by over £10 billion. The next business rates revaluation is being brought forward by a year to 2021 and will move forward with three-year revaluations thereafter.
The Government will launch a call for evidence to understand how best the most productive businesses can help and guide the least productive businesses
The Industrial Strategy sets out to keep Britain at the forefront of new technologies; much of this technology relies on high speed broadband. The first allocation of the Local Full Fibre Challenge Fund has been allocated to 5G Testbeds, to enable the UK to be a global leader in the next generation of mobile technology.
As the economy changes, people must be given the skills needed to seize opportunities ahead. Over £500 million of funding a year is going to support T Levels, with a further £50 million available to help employers to get ready for the roll out of these placements.
A clear and shared commitment to training to prepare the people of Britain for a better future has been outlined as part of the National Retraining Partnership.
As the Government recognise the challenges presented to small businesses looking to employ apprentices, £80 million of funding is available to support small businesses in engaging an apprentice.