23rd February 2017 at 10:22am
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivers his Budget on 8 March 2017, with Spring traditionally the time when we find out what the government plans for the economy and the taxes we pay.
However, that’s going to change later this year when the Budget moves to a new, permanent Autumn slot. Here’s why, and what you need to know.
Why change the timing of the Budget?
Moving to an Autumn Budget will help give Parliament enough time to look carefully at any proposed tax changes well before the beginning of the new tax year when they are most likely to take effect.
According to a Government statement: “Businesses, economy and tax experts like the International Monetary Fund, Institute for Government, the CBI, Chartered Institute of Taxation and the IFS have all been calling for this change.”
But it does mean there will be two Budgets this year, in Spring and Autumn as we shift to the new timetable.
What difference will this make to how you manage your finances?
The change should be a positive one with more time to plan your finances, as Dave Downie, technical tax expert at Standard Life explains:
“One Budget a year, rather than a Budget and Autumn Statement, will allow people to plan their financial affairs with more certainty.
“It also gives welcome breathing space between the announcement of Budget changes and when they are introduced, allowing people time to consider the impact of any change and to plan without the fear of having to revisit financial plans mid-year.”
On a final note, there will be an annual Spring Statement from 2018 when the government will use the occasion to update Parliament about its spending – which it has to do – and not to announce any new tax plans.
Information correct in February 2017.