Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the Government’s annual Autumn Statement in the House of Commons today (Wednesday, November 25).
Sometimes described as a mini-Budget, he revealed to the nation the state of the country’s economy and public finances, in line with the latest economic forecasts from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. Post the May general election, the Autumn Statement was combined with the Spending Review, which determines how the government will, over the course of the Parliament, spend on Government departments and public services £4 trillion of taxpayers’ money - up from £3.6 trillion in 2010/15.
A proposed change to Benefit-in-Kind tax rates for ultra-low emission vehicles has been scrapped from the Finance Bill that was announced in the spring budget.
The snap election means parliament will be dissolved on May 3, with Finance Bill subsequently reduced from 762 pages down to 130 to ensure it is approved by both Houses of Parliament.
Whilst the 15 new tax bandings, due to take effect from 2020, will now be omitted form the Bill, Optional Remuneration Arrangements and changes to Vehicle Excise Duty are still included.
The news will be welcomed by the industry that had pushed for the Finance Bill to be discussed at length prior to it, although the changes could still come into place in the autumn budget.
A specialist industry tax advisor commented: “The Commons wasted no time in approving the Finance Bill, which goes to the House of Lords today and then to Her Majesty on Thursday (27th). The Chancellor said that measures removed from the Bill would return to parliament after the General Election, with the likelihood that effective dates would remain unchanged. It thus seems most likely that the Finance Act in the next parliament would receive Royal Assent in mid-September, just like FA 2016. We can’t rule out enactment by the third week of July – in line with the original timetable.”