6 November Budget day cancelled
25 Oct 2019
The Budget has been cancelled due to the ongoing Brexit discussions and delays, and the PM’s wish to hold a general election by 14 December
25 Oct 2019
The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, confirmed the decision, and it now looks unlikely that there will be a Budget before Spring 2020.
Javid said: ‘The Budget is not going ahead because we are planning now to dissolve parliament on the 6th, so clearly you can't have a Budget on the same day.’
The PM is pushing for an election before the end of the year, which would mean that parliament would have to be dissolved in early November to allow enough time for the election campaign period.
This would have been Javid's first Budget since he became Chancellor in July. In September, he made a spending round announcement detailing departmental spending plans for 2020-2021.
James Hender, head of private wealth at Saffery Champness, said: ‘With a general election almost certain to be held before any policies could have been implemented this was always likely to be a short-lived Budget and, for the cynics, a chance for the Chancellor to woo voters with spending promises.
‘Even with recent borrowing figures casting a cloud over the Treasury, few would have predicted that Mr Javid would have pulled the plug on his first Budget less than 24hrs after giving assurances that it would go ahead.
‘Taxpayers are now facing yet more uncertainty and with an election looming near on the horizon, many long-term plans for the tax system - such as inheritance tax reform - will likely be disrupted, postponed or even reversed.’
There will also be an impact on the Scottish Budget, which was set for 12 December. This relies on the latest UK spending figures and grant figures, which would not be available without the UK Budget. Scottish finance minister, Derek Mackay has not yet announced whether to delay the Budget.
Alexander Garden, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s (CIOT) Scottish Technical Committee, said: ‘Scotland’s budget process has potentially become the latest victim of Britain’s Brexit impasse.
‘In any normal year, there would already be many moving parts to the Scottish Budget process. Today’s announcement only complicates matters further and leaves Derek Mackay in a tight corner.’
At the September spending review, Javid signalled 'turning the page' on austerity and laid out plans for an additional £13.8bn of government money for public services, including spending on additional police officers, social care, the NHS and armed forces.
He said that 'day-to-day departmental spending will now grow by 4.1% above inflation in 2020-21 compared to the previous year. For the first time since 2002, no government department will see a cut to its day-to-day budget.'
This September’s spending round was unusual as it covered only a one-year period. The Treasury said the next multi-year spending review will be carried out in 2020.