Spending Review to give ‘financial clarity’ on Brexit
New Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced a one-year Spending Review will be carried out in September. The aim of the review is to provide ‘financial clarity’ for Government departments in the continued run-up to Brexit.
Civil servants need to continue making improvements to public spending, whilst preparing for Brexit, due to take place on the 31st October 2019. The Chancellor hopes a one-year budget allocation will allow this to take place.
Javid commented ‘The Prime Minister and I have asked for a fast-tracked spending round for September to set departmental budgets for next year. This will clear the ground ahead of Brexit, while delivering on people’s priorities.’
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) responded to say that this approach is understandable, and ‘leaves the government more flexibility to respond to future developments’. It echoed many people’s thoughts when it went on to say ‘The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the nature of the UK’s departure from, and future relationship with, the EU means that the outlook for the UK economy is currently highly uncertain.’
Mike Cherry, national chairman of the FSB agreed, saying ‘As things stand, small business confidence is at rock-bottom: political uncertainty has left us unable to invest, grow and plan for the future.’
Whilst the Spending Review will enable government departments to plan effectively, a new report nu the CBI has suggested that neither the UK nor the EU are prepared to handle a no-deal Brexit scenario. The report outlined 200 recommendations to help improve preparations.
One of these recommendations was to launch a ‘targeted communications campaign’ to provide clear advice for businesses. Josh Hardy, Deputy Director General summarised the views of most people we’ve spoken to lately, when he said ‘Businesses are desperate to move beyond Brexit’.
Let’s hope there is some tangible progress very soon!