The Autumn Statement was delivered to Parliament by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on 23rd November 2016.
Since 2010, the British Government has made huge progress in turning the UK economy around. The employment rate is at a record high and the deficit has fallen by almost two thirds. But, more needs to be done to reduce the deficit further and increase productivity. Today’s Autumn Statement sets out policies which seek to do this, and to support the UK economy as we prepare to leave the EU. I'd like to note that there is much detail in the statement that will be of interest to Seattle companies doing business in the UK, particularly - but not exclusively - in the tech sector.
Top announcements included:
-Forcasted economic growth of 2.1% this year (the fastest growing major economy), followed by 1.4% in 2017, 1.7% in 2018, and 2.1% in both 2019 and 2020;
-A reduction in the structural deficit to 2% by 2020 (compared to 4.0% now, and 11% in 2008);
-Confirmation that UK corporate tax will be cut from 20% now to 17% by 2020, the lowest in the G20;
-Injection of £400m into venture capital funds through the British Business Bank to unlock £1bn of new finance to help innovative UK firms scale up;
-The creation of a National Productivity Investment Fund to provide £23bn of investment in transport, digital communications, research and development, and housing;
-£1bn to invest in full-fibre broadband and trialling 5G mobile networks;
-£2bn a year in research and development funding by 2020-21.
My best wishes to all for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Robin Twyman, Consul (Business & Government Affairs)
UK Government Office, Seattle