2017 Spring Budget – here we go!March 8, 2017
At present I’m poised at my computer, watching Guto Bebb in the Commons (and why is that man not an internet meme yet?) respond (as Wales Minister) to Wales questions. Then it’ll be PMQs, followed by the Budget. I shall keep this post open and add anything that occurs to me as we go along, so if you follow this blog and get notified when a post is updated, you might want to turn off the updates temporarily for the afternoon.
Also, I shall have twitter open in another window. Shouting at the tv, but when the tv shouts back! Onwards and upwards!
Update: 12:40 Chancellor has been going ten minutes. You may not know this, but the “interesting” stuff in a Budget often isn’t in the speech itself but in the documents published “alongside” it, which by convention aren’t published till the speech itself is over. Theoretically they should hit the “send” button on their internet publishing as soon as the Chancellor sits down, but you will find anyone commentating on the budget obsessively hitting “refresh” on these two pages for some time afterwards, I predict. Watch this space.
Update 12:50 There’s the MTD announcement and it’s disappointing. It will still be compulsory for businesses to keep their records digitally, but the smallest businesses (between £10k and the VAT limit of £80+k turnover) can have an extra year before it’s compulsory. Not cool, sorry – and costed at £200m (I think) so there clearly is some granularity to the government’s data on this theoretical £945m gain from digital recording. I wonder if we’ll get to see it???
Update 1:00 Here’s the IR35 announcement and it’s a bit feeble. Instead of grasping the nettle of equalising NICs for different ways of working he’s confirmed the abolition of class 2 NICS but put the class 4 NICs up by 1% next year and another the year after. It’s a start, but really the distinction between employees and the self employed is a nettle that could do with being grasped more firmly.
Update 1:10 The interest rate on the new NSI Bonds available from April will be 2.2%, available on savings up to £3,000. It’s not much, but it’ll cover a lot of small savers. But of course the “competitive” banking system means it won’t remain the highest rate available for long, will it, right? I mean, right???
Update 1:35 Well that’s it for the actual speech. Now I’m going offline for a while to look at the documents (when they turn up) on the website. You can turn automatic notification back on if you like: I’ll put up a new entry if I have anything notable to say.