You heard it here first! Spring Statement Update Delivered Digitally As It Happens with App-driven technology 

As Philip Hammond unveiled his first Spring Statement this afternoon, we were busy updating over a thousand Apps so that a quarter of a million businesses would be amongst the first to get a live update from their accountants.

The award winning accountancy practice and customer, Tait Walker, has been working closely with us to ensure that the changes in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement were quickly communicated to the customer base virtually in real-time.

The speed with which this is now achievable demonstrates how new advances in App-driven technology are changing the way it is possible to interact with clients. Before the development of Apps, printed cards would need to be produced detailing the changes announced in the Budget but now, changes can be communicated with push notifications and reach the selected recipient in seconds.

The Spring Statement was short in length compared to the Budget in November and lasted less than 30 minutes. It contained economic and public finance forecasts and the Chancellor unveiled a series of consultations on future policies.

Here are the key points:

Economy

  • Growth forecast for 2018 revised upwards from 1.4% to 1.5%
  • 1.3% growth forecast for 2019 and 2020 left unchanged
  • Inflation forecast to fall from 3% now to 2% by end of year
  • Wages expected to rise faster than prices over the next five years

Public finances

  • Government forecast to borrow £45.2bn in 2017-8, £4.7bn lower than predicted in November
  • Borrowing forecast to fall every financial year to £21.4bn in 2021-22
  • Debt as a share of GDP to fall from 85.6% in 2017-8 to 85.5% in 2018-9
  • Ratio set to drop to 85.1% in 2019-20, 82.1% in 2020-21 and 78.3% in 2021-22
  • Cost of debt interest payments remains about £50bn a year

Spending

  • £1.5bn allocated so far to departments to prepare for Brexit in March 2019
  • £1.67bn given to London to start building a further 27,000 affordable homes by end of 2021-22
  • Budget for Housing Growth Partnership to be more than doubled to £220m
  • The National Living Wage will rise, as previously announced, to £7.83 an hour in April

Tax

  • 60,000 first-time buyers have benefited from stamp duty holiday in November’s Budget
  • Consultation on reducing tax on the least polluting vans
  • Consultation on tax changes to discourage use of single-use plastic, including takeaway boxes and disposable cups
  • £20m for firms businesses and universities to research ways to reduce plastic’s environmental impact
  • Consultation on a new VAT collection mechanism for online sales
  • Government sets out ideas for “fairer” taxation of multinational digital businesses
  • Consultation on extending current training tax relief to self-employed people and employees

Business

  • Next revaluation of business rates to be brought forward by one year to 2021
  • English cities invited to bid for remaining £840m from regional transport fund
  • £95m to be given to 13 areas for rollout of full-fibre broadband
  • Consultation launched on the role of cash in the new economy, including future demand for 1p and 2p pieces and £50 notes

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