Economy  

Hammond promises no tax changes in Spring Statement

Hammond promises no tax changes in Spring Statement

HM Treasury has decided next month's Spring Statement will abandon all the previous fanfare which surrounded the event.

In 2016 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond swapped the timings of the Autumn Statement and the Budget.

This means the Budget now takes place in the autumn and the first Spring Statement will take place on 13 March.

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Mr Hammond has now ordered that the upcoming Spring Statement should abandon all the circus which previously surrounded it.

This means he will not appear in Downing Street holding a red box, there will be no official document, no spending increases or tax changes will be announced and the speech itself will last 20 minutes at the most.

At the time of the announcement, Mr Hammond said: "No other major economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice a year, and neither should we."

The Spring Statement has taken place in November for most of its life - though Kenneth Clark presented it in July during his tenure and it was known as the Summer Statement - and under Labour between 1997 and 2010 it was known as the Pre-Budget Report.

During his speech Mr Hammond will limit himself to publishing updated economic forecasts.

It will also take place on a Tuesday for the first time rather than on a Wednesday immediately after Prime Minister's Questions, when the House of Commons is packed.

The Office for Budget Responsibility is under a legal obligation to publish two sets of economic forecasts a year, meaning the chancellor has to present them.

damian.fantato@ft.com