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The Chancellor’s Budget on 8 March was the first of two due in 2017. The final spring Budget came little more than three months after an Autumn Statement that suggested government finances had taken a post-referendum turn for the worse.

Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement will also be his last. In 2017 there will be a Spring Budget followed by an Autumn Budget. In early 2018 there will be the first Spring Statement. The Chancellor presented his Autumn Statement against a background of reduced growth forecasts and the “urgent” need to tackle the long-term weaknesses of the UK economy.

This was the third Budget within the space of 12 months. It threatened to be the most difficult of the trio because of constraints imposed by June’s EU referendum and disappointing economic numbers.

In July 2015, George Osborne presented his post-election Budget against a background of an economy that had grown at 3.0% in 2014 and was enjoying zero inflation. The revenue-raising measures he announced then allowed the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to reduce its projection for net government borrowing in 2015/16 to £74.1bn, a 20.9% drop from the previous year.

Following the announcements in the Budget on 19 March 2014, that investors were to have complete access to their defined contribution pension assets, and by the Chancellor on 29 September 2014 at the Conservative Party conference, that the pensions death tax would be abolished, the Taxation of Pensions Act became effective from 6 April 2015.

On 8 July 2015, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered the first all‐Conservative Budget since 1996 as a “Budget for working people”. The first Budget after a general election is traditionally the time for introducing unpopular measures. The Chancellor is not constrained by a coalition partner and has nearly five years until the next election.

Following the election of a majority Conservative Government in May 2015, which surprised many commentators (and perhaps even some politicians), the Chancellor has announced an “emergency” Budget for 8 July 2015.

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