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Budget: change to future timetable

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed the chancellor’s announcement that the government will be reverting to a single annual fiscal event. The CIOT, along with the Institute for Government (IfG) and Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), had called for this move in an open letter to the chancellor in September. The letter contained some early recommendations from a project the three organisations are undertaking to look at how to improve tax policy making. This will lead to a full report in January 2017.

With the change, in 2016 there will be two Budgets, one in Spring and one in Autumn. From 2018 there will be a Spring Statement, which will just report back on OBR forecasting and a more substantial Autumn Budget.

Bill Dodwell, CIOT President: ‘This is a welcome move from the chancellor. Tax change is one of the greatest causes of tax complexity, and having two major fiscal events a year encourages government to keep fiddling about with the system. No other major economic power feels the need for two big sets of tax and spending changes each year. The chancellor has sensibly acknowledged that doing less will enable HMRC and the Treasury to put more time and effort into making sure the changes they do make are effective and well-targeted.’

Tina Riches, national tax partner at Smith & Williamson, observed that it was good to see the new chancellor resist the temptation to tinker around the edges. ‘Having one major fiscal event from 2018 will help allow businesses the certainty of a stable tax system.’

The CIOT in Scotland has welcomed the chancellor’s announcement to abolish the Autumn Statement, and move the Westminster Budget from spring to autumn, but warned of its implications for the ongoing budget review process in Scotland. Moira Kelly, chair of the CIOT Scottish Technical Committee: ‘Today’s decision will clearly have implications for future Scottish fiscal events and in particular, the timing of future draft Scottish Budgets. If the UK Budget is to be moved to the autumn, then the Scottish government may feel pressure to ensure their draft Scottish Budget is prepared after the UK fiscal event, as was the case in 2015 and 2016 and potentially resulting in inadequate time with which to scrutinise the Scottish budget.’

Issue: 1333
Categories: News