A new budget announcement is always reason to pay attention, but this year’s Autumn Statement will be more important than ever, as it’s the first since the UK voted to leave the European Union.
Here’s our guide to preparing for next week’s ‘Brexit’ budget, and what our new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, may well have in store for Britain’s women.
What is the first post-Brexit budget likely to contain?
It’s difficult to make predictions, however, there has been a slowing in the UK economy in recent months, and this may well lead the chancellor to increase certain taxes. Raising taxes significantly can increase economic slowdown, so it will be balanced by an element of additional borrowing and spending.
Hammond may choose to postpone or axe certain measures put in place by his predecessor, George Osborne. For example, he is widely predicted to sideline the proposals to cut corporation tax as low as 15 per cent.
Among the investment areas the chancellor is expected to continue forging ahead with are travel infrastructure, with roads and railways likely to see a boost in public spending. This is part of his promise to look make plans for the long term, rather than knee jerk reactions to the impact of Brexit.
Another significant announcement rumoured to be in the pipeline is the launch of a £3 billion house building fund, designed to kick-start the property market. Housing investment has slowed significantly since the EU referendum and, unless further measures are taken, the government is well behind plans to build one million new homes by 2020.
How will the Autumn Statement impact the general public?
At this stage, it’s hard to say exactly how the upcoming budget announcement will affect the public’s purse; we need to wait until Hammond has revealed his exact intentions.
However, changes in the UK’s budgeting plans are always a good excuse for you to look again at your finances. Whether you’re slightly better or worse off following the chancellor’s speech, there are many ways in which you could be saving money each month.
The budget is also a prime time for financial organisations to change the interest rates available on their products, and sometimes the terms for lending and borrowing. Therefore it pays to wait until a few days after the announcement, and then look at how the market is shifted – and if there’s a better deal open to you on things like your current account, savings and investments.
It’s also a good time to think about how you’re going to protect your financial future, as Brexit is only going to cause more economic instability as its true impact begins to show.
Retirement planning should be high up your agenda if it is not already; take time to understand whether your current pension scheme is yielding the results you need, or talk to your employer about workplace pension schemes if you do not currently have a pension in place.
It’s also worth looking into the government’s new lifetime ISA scheme, in which contributions are matched for those that are eligible for the initiative. More details on the lifetime ISA’s roll out may well be provided within the imminent Autumn Statement.
If you’re unsure about your pension provision, or if you are making the most of your tax allowances, our team will be happy to help.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation and trust advice.
Levels and bases of reliefs from taxation are subject to change.