A Budget full of pick 'n' mix statistics and reiteration of old news

Rose Duly, Tax Consultant at Ward Goodman.
Rose Duly, Tax Consultant at Ward Goodman.

Ward Goodman, the Dorset based firm of Chartered Accountants and Independent Financial Advisers, has commented on today’s spring budget, stating Philip Hammond’s statement is something of a ‘non event’ with the Chancellor taking the opportunity to tell us a selection of the more cheerful economic news, but maintained his familiar policies of keeping public spending as low as possible.
Rose Duly, Tax Consultant at Ward Goodman, said: “There’s been a lot of re-announcing of old news, including reiteration of the increased spend on Research and Development, the increased National Minimum Wage and increased personal allowance for tax.
“We heard a lot of statistics being reeled off, with the Government pleased to announce debt is falling and forecasts apparently being revised upwards.  Mr Hammond was pleased to predict an expected return of the real wage growth from later this year, meaning earnings could rise faster than inflation, which if true, would be good news for all. However, the opposition in turn reminded us that recent UK growth has been slower than the rest of the EU, and that real wages have been falling for a long time, so really, it’s a case of ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ with statistics.
“Hammond was careful to insist on keeping us ‘secure against future shocks’ with his ‘balanced approach,’ contrasting the oppositions ‘fiscal fantasists,’ so, in spite of making a lot of positive sounding noises about how well things are going, there were no significant spending announcements, and only a promise of a detailed spending review in 2019 to decide on public spending in 2020.
“Although there was nothing substantial to report on housing supply, locally, the MP for West Dorset, Sir Oliver Letwin, is leading a review into the delays between the granting of planning permission and the actual construction of new homes.  So, I would advise anyone with an opinion on this to make sure they contact their local MP.”

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