PKF Francis Clark welcomes the introduction of the spring statement to deal with broader fiscal issues, leaving tax announcements to be dealt with in the autumn Budget. The new legislative timetable with only one tax statement a year in the autumn gives the opportunity for a more meaningful debate between accountants, Government and the professional bodies about new policy initiatives with, potentially, more time to iron out the wrinkles in any new legislation before the statutory process in Parliament begins.
The House of Commons has published two papers in advance of the spring statement – a background briefing and a discussion of the relevant economic indicators, which form the backdrop to the spring statement. We hope to see consultations released this week dealing with some of the wider challenges for the economy and public finances, as well as discussion around increasing automation and artificial intelligence. Another area likely to come up is discussion on the VAT threshold for small businesses (which will remain at the current level until at least March 2020, but may be decreased from that date to address a perceived barrier to growth as businesses artificially hold back from growing to a level that would require them to register. Other areas of focus for the Chancellor are the tax paid by multinationals, and introducing curbs on the use of plastic in packaging via a so-called ‘litter levy’.