In his Spring Statement, Phillip Hammond (right) claimed the UK economy had reached a turning point and there was “light at the end of the tunnel.” However, the Kbsa have now announced they are giving ‘a cautious welcome’ to the Chancellor’s 2018 spring statement.
National Kbsa chair Richard Hibbert (left) said: “The new format means that much of the meaty content will be delivered in the autumn budget but the Chancellor presented an optimistic statement with good news on employment and inflation.”
“Many of the areas of interest to our sector were subject to consultations such as measures to end late payments for firms and a reduction in tax for the least polluting vans,” Hibbert continued. “We welcome the bringing forward of the next revaluation for business rates to 2021, after which the government will move to revaluations every three years. There was also more money for housing and apprenticeships and training.”
In his 26-minute statement, Phillip Hammond told MPs growth was forecast to be 1.5% this year, up from the 1.4% forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility in November, with the forecast for 2019 and 2020 unchanged at 1.3%. He also said debt would be falling as a share of GDP from 2018-19, which would be the start of “the first sustained fall in debt for 17 years, a turning point in the nation’s recovery from the financial crisis of a decade ago”.
National Kbsa chair Richard Hibbert commented: “Overall the Chancellor may be trying to paint a rosy picture of the current situation but we believe there is still much uncertainty and that the outlook remains challenging.”
Kbsa | kbsa.org.uk