Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – What To Expect
Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver an update on the government’s economic plans today in his first Autumn Statement.
The Chancellor will outline the UK Government’s priorities for taxes and spending in the wake of the Brexit vote.
PM Theresa May says the Chancellor will “lay out an agenda that is not just ambitious for business, but ambitious for Britain. He will do more to boost Britain’s long-term economic success… He will make sure Britain outside of the EU is the most attractive place for business to invest.”
The Welsh Government has called on the Chancellor to take forward a growth deal for North Wales;
Mr Hammond is expected to announce over £1billion of infrastructure projects, these could see significant funding for Welsh Government under the Treasury’s Barnett formula for allocating extra money across the UK.
A £1.3billion package to improve roads in the UK has widely been reported, other highlights from the usual the drip feed of ‘leaks’ seems to indicate the following will happen.
A rise in the minimum wage is expected with an increase of 4% to £7.50 an hour for over-25s from April 2017.
Ban Cold Callers
Plans to ban cold callers tricking people out of their pension savings is expected to be included in the Autumn Statement.
Between April 2015 and March 2016 savers are thought to have lost almost £19 million to pensions scams.
The ban will also include the cold calling people who have inadvertently opted in to receiving third party communications.
Violation of the ban could attract fines of up to £500,000.
Crackdown On Pension Related Scams
Mr Hammond will also announce two other pension scam-related measures in his Autumn Statement.
The first will give more powers to firms to block suspicious transfers.
The second will stop small self-administered schemes (Ssas) setting up using a dormant company as the sponsoring employer, making it harder for scammers to open fraudulent pension schemes.
Ban or Cap On Letting Agents Fees
It is expected M Hammond with announce a crackdown on letting agents fees as renters are currently forced to pay hundreds of pounds for questionable fees.
Philip Hammond is expected to announce an extra £1bn funding for digital infrastructure
Part of that will see £400m spent on “full-fibre” broadband, which the Treasury describes as the “gold standard” of internet connections.
It is also expected the UK Government will announce £740m to support a programme of trials for 5G mobile connections and the rolling out of fibre broadband across the country.
Welsh Air Ambulance
The Welsh Air Ambulance Trust is due to get a £1m boost through the Libor funds, from fines levied on banks according to WalesOnline.
The Welsh Government called on the UK Government to boost infrastructure investment and end its policy of austerity in order to support growth in Wales.
In a letter to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford set out Wales’ priorities for the Autumn Statement, these include:
Ensuring the Welsh Government’s annual capital borrowing limits are revised as part of the fiscal framework discussions;
The importance of securing and signing a Swansea Bay City Deal and taking forward a growth deal for North Wales;
The UK Government reconsidering its decision not to devolve Air Passenger Duty to Wales;
The case for the full removal of the Severn Crossings tolls at the end of the current concession.
Professor Drakeford said:
“In these uncertain times, it is important that we create the conditions for a strong and secure economy. “Economic growth will increase tax revenues, reduce unemployment levels and strengthen the public finances in Wales and in the UK. The Autumn Statement is a prime opportunity for the UK Government to move away from its damaging policy of austerity and provide the fiscal stimulus needed to support growth.
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Nick Ramsay AM – has called on the Welsh Government to make use of any additional funding to support businesses across Wales and invest any money wisely as many businesses face a huge hike in business rates next April.
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance Nick Ramsay AM, said:
“With the Chancellor expected to deliver significant investment across the border it is vital any additional money received by the Welsh Government is used wisely to ensure Wales is open for business.
“Many businesses across Wales are set to take a hammering with an increase in business rates next April and this extra funding should be used to support the lifeblood of our economy – small businesses.
“And it is vitally important we see urgent action on Wales’ creaking infrastructure that continues to strangle our economy – Wales cannot afford to be left behind due to the poor decisions of the Labour Government.
“Measures that will be taken by the Conservative Government will improve the living standards of families across the UK and the Autumn Statement provides the Welsh Government to do likewise in Wales, with the opportunity to ensure it increases support for working people.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com