Rishi Sunak’s last two spring statements were dominated by vast spending and multi-billion-pound bailout programmes to help businesses and workers through the pandemic. This time the Chancellor faces a new challenge: the cost of living crisis. He is under immense pressure to soften the impact of rising bills, at the same time as reducing a massive public debt pile and nursing the country to economic recovery. So what can we expect?
The Chancellor has asked the official forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, to produce an economic and fiscal forecast to be published on March 23 2022. That will make an interesting read!
In line with tradition, the spring statement should follow later on that day, with Rishi Sunak to make an address to the House of Commons around lunchtime.
The spring statement is an opportunity for the Chancellor to provide an update on the overall health of the economy. It traditionally does not include major tax or spending changes, which are made once a year at the Budget. Rather the spring statement tends to include the launch of a number of consultations on potential new policies. It also provides the Chancellor the opportunity to update the public on policies announced at previous Budgets, or to tweak or extend them.
The spring statement has also previously included smaller funding pledges and policies, such as additional police funding.
If traditional practice is followed, there should be no changes to inheritance tax, capital gains tax and trust tax law as well as other private client matters which is the central, but not exclusive, focus of this blog and my tax practice. I would not, however, rule out allusions or hints of such changes through consultations or the like.
If you would like a reasoned and detailed consideration of what might be included then I would suggest this article on AccountingWEB which appeared today, the 17 March: