The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has announced that the government will publish its next Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March 2017, the last one to be held at this time of year before the switch to an autumn event
At the Autumn Statement in late December, the Chancellor announced that the government is to move to a single major fiscal event each year, pointing out that the UK is the only major advanced economy to make major changes to the tax system twice a year.
Under the new schedule, the Spring Budget in March 2017 will set out the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), as usual.
The move to a single fiscal event will be made after the Spring Budget in 2017. There will be a second Budget before the end of 2017 to switch to the new timetable, which will then be followed in future years.
The government says it expects a finance bill in spring/summer 2017 following the Spring Budget.
From winter 2017, finance bills will be introduced following the Budget. The aim will be to reach Royal Assent in the spring, before the start of the following tax year. This change in timetable will help Parliament to scrutinise tax changes before the tax year where most take effect.
The OBR is required by law to produce two forecasts a year. One of these will remain at Budget. The other will fall in the spring and the government will respond to it with a Spring Statement.