Philip Hammond surprised MPs when he ended his Autumn Statement by saying:
This is my first Autumn Statement as Chancellor. After careful consideration, and detailed discussion with the Prime Minister, I have decided that it will also be my last.
This was quickly followed by:
Mr Speaker I am abolishing the Autumn Statement.
No other major economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice a year, and neither should we.
So the spring Budget in a few months will be the final spring Budget.
Starting in autumn 2017, Britain will have an autumn Budget, announcing tax changes well in advance of the start of the tax year.
From 2018 there will be a Spring Statement, responding to the forecast from the OBR, but no major fiscal event.
If unexpected changes in the economy require it, then I will, of course, announce actions at the Spring Statement, but I won’t make significant changes twice a year just for the sake of it.
This change will also allow for greater Parliamentary scrutiny of Budget measures ahead of their implementation.
So there we have it, from 2017, Budgets will be announced in the autumn, and economic forecasts in the spring.
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