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Recently, we’ve seen big changes with 11 budgets happening in only eight years. However, unlike the last few statements, there was no ‘big’ announcements, upsets or cheers this time round.


spring statement 2018


The usual buzzwords such as fuel duty, alcohol and tobacco tax, stamp duty and energy prices weren’t mentioned. Instead, we had updates on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), spending, growth forecasts, and a little insight at the mechanics of VAT and possible changes. Even though from a viewer’s perspective, Brexit lingered in the corner, it was practically ignored during Mr Hammond’s 26-minute speech to the Commons.


spring statement 2018

Image source: Commons Wikimedia


One point that was discussed during Mr Hammond’s speech was the growing trend with digital and contactless payment, edging us closer a cash-less society. Expect the next few months to be full of talk surrounding the validity of one and two pence coins. This focuses on the cost of production and distribution compared to their economic worth. Figures released this week show that on average 60% of one and two pence coins are used only once for a transaction. The other 40% are used for transactions, put into saving jars, or even thrown away by some members of the public. Homeowners and residents will rejoice that the digital revolution is to continue with the announcement that the high-speed broadband coverage will be extended to 13 areas across the UK, receiving funding of £90m.

A more pressing concern for some homeowners will be the talk of short term lets and a new tax, this would particularly effect Airbnb users. Throughout Britain there is roughly 52,000 Airbnb providers and currently short-term lettings are tax-free and when you see the figures, offer a very good carrot to homeowners. In London alone, its reported that an Airbnb can earn its owner anywhere between £400.00 and £3,500 annually.

Philip Hammond spring statement 2018

Image source: Commons Wikimedia


Mr Hammond also announced that the government had reach a deal with the West Midlands to build 215,000 homes by 2030-31. This would be aided by the land remediation fund who are set to invest £100m into the project. The Housing Growth Partnership, who help small housebuilders with financial support, is to see an influx of £220m. This is more than double the previous allocation given to them.

The Spring Statement was quite a subdued affair in comparison to other statements and budgets, but this was to be expected. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell condemned Mr Hammond’s lack of reference to Brexit and the underfunding of the NHS, claiming that the conservatives were unnecessarily choosing austerity as a political choice. Mr Hammond counter-argued that he was by guiding Britain into the future and that ‘there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we’re just not there yet’.

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