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What should business expect from the Autumn Statement?


The Autumn Statement takes place on  November 23rd at 12.30.

Less in depth than the Budget, the Autumn Statement tends to have fewer ‘big ticket’ announcements and is usually wrapped up within the hour.

However, this year isn’t a normal year, and many which be watching with eagle eyes to see what can be gleaned about the Government’s elusive Brexit strategy.

Whilst we’re unlikely to find out a great deal about the plan for Brexit, the statement should at least give us a clear idea about what industries the Government will be focussing on over the next few years and how they think leaving the EU will affect the economy. That said, the Government will also be looking to reassure businesses, so don’t expect too much doom and gloom. 

Below are some predictions for next week:

  • Expect targeted support for science and tech, as well as spending on roads and railways. There are also likely to be measures to help house builders, on top of the recently announced three billion fund to ‘get Britain building’. Across the board it’s predicted that Hammond will focus on smaller projects with demonstrable ROI rather than big ticket items. 
  • Philip Hammond has been keen to ditch George Osborne’s austerity agenda, having already abandoned Osborne’s pre-Brexit aim of ditching the deficit. With tough times ahead, the Government will want the flexibility to borrow again if necessary; there is a speculated 100 billion post-Brexit hole to fill after all.  But Hammond has made it clear that we won’t be seeing a lavish spending spree – think caution rather than showy projects.
  • Despite recommendations by George Osborne, corporation tax – which currently stands at 20% – is unlikely to be cut to 15%. Hammond’s plan is to instead reduce corporation tax to 17% by 2020.
  • The public sector is likely to see a further tightening of budgets. The Government are predicted to emphasise the need for continued digital adoption within the sector as opposed to further investment. 
  • We are likely to find out if businesses supported by EU funding will see their funding continue after we leave the bloc. Businesses currently have their funding guaranteed until 2020.

According to Sky News: “Improving productivity is central to Theresa May’s pledge to raise living standards for British workers because it makes it easier for employers to lift workers’ wages as they get more bang for their buck from employees” 

What are you hoping for from the statement? Let us know on Twitter @switchmybiz.

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