Autumn is upon us and the time has come for the Chancellor to set out the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). However, this year’s Autumn Budget is particularly significant because there will now be only one ‘fiscal event’ each year. Following the spring 2017 ‘Budget and Finance Bill’, the Chancellors budgets will only be delivered in the autumn, with the first taking place on 22nd November 2017. From 2018 there will be a ‘Spring Statement’ responding to the forecast from the OBR, as two forecasts are required by law. But what is different is that it will no longer be a major ‘fiscal event’.
Why one single ‘fiscal event’?
There a number of reasons why it is considered beneficial to reduce the number to just one ‘fiscal event’ a year, for example:
It will mean businesses and people face less frequent changes to the tax system, promoting certainty and stability;
It should allow for an earlier stage of involvement on key strategic challenges;
For tax stakeholders, a single ‘fiscal event’ is beneficial as it means tax changes will be announced well in advance of the start of the tax year.
The other consideration to take into account is the change is the timing of Legislation Day, which since 2011, has quickly followed the Autumn Statement. However, under the new timetable this will be delayed until Summer 2018. The new date will continue to be announced by written ministerial statement.