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PwC: Chancellor looks to boost confidence in upcoming statement

Jul 06
Tags: PwC
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PwC: Chancellor looks to boost confidence in upcoming...

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to make a statement on Wednesday (July 8th) about the state of the economy and what the next phase will be in the plan to ensure a recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government will be looking to reassure the public and businesses that it can kickstart the economy after its worst blow in living memory.

During the first full month of lockdown in April, the UK’s economy shrank by a record 20 per cent and while figures have not yet been released for June and July, they are likely to look similarly bleak.

In comparison, the economy shrank by just over six per cent during the depression of 2008, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

So, what will the chancellor say when he addresses the nation later this week?

Jon Richardson, head of tax policy at PwC UK, predicts: “The chancellor’s statement will be geared towards boosting consumer and business confidence. Encouraging investment, protecting existing jobs and creating new employment will be at the forefront of minds, as will a continued commitment to meeting environmental targets.

“But while we may see some signposting for future policy, overarching tax changes are likely to wait until the Autumn Budget.”

Among the measures that are thought to be under consideration by the government are a cut to VAT and further business rate relief.

Mr Sunak and his team may also be contemplating national insurance contribution holidays and an increase to the employment allowance, but this is not yet clear.

Only when the chancellor’s summer economic update is read to the House of Commons on Wednesday will there be more certainty.

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