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Chancellor delivers first Spring Statement

On 13 March 2018, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first ever Spring Statement speech, in which he responded to the latest economic forecasts published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The annual Spring Statement forms part of the Chancellor’s new Budget timetable, which has seen the main annual Budget move from its traditional Spring setting to the Autumn.

The Chancellor used his speech to report on the progress made on a number of measures announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget, as well as announcing some future measures. This included the announcement that the next business rates revaluation will be brought forward from 2022 to 2021.

Mr Hammond also launched a number of consultations, including a new consultation examining the effect of the current VAT registration threshold on small businesses, as well as consultations relating to changes to Entrepreneurs’ Relief, and using the UK tax system to encourage the ‘responsible use of plastic’.

New incentives to encourage the ‘great British white van driver’ to go green were also unveiled, whilst £20 million from existing budgets will be given to businesses and universities to help fund research into ways in which the impact of plastics on the environment can be reduced.

Meanwhile, over £1.5 billion has been allocated to departments and devolved administrations in preparation for the UK’s exit from the European Union.