Autumn Statement, full expensing and leasing

Simon Goldie, Director of Advocacy

Since the Spring Budget, we have been waiting for the publication of the draft legislation on the inclusion of leasing in full expensing. This is one of the topics we have been discussing with HM Treasury (HMT) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). More of that later.

Over the weekend, the press has been speculating that the ‘Autumn Statement’ would be held in September. That would be earlier than usual. In fact, past Autumn Statements have taken place in December, which gives a new meaning to autumn.

September makes sense from the Government’s point of view. It is an opportunity to set out a pre-election stall and depending on the legislation, take it through parliament before the party conferences. After that, the expectation is an October or November General Election.

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will be hoping that the measures he announces mean that the day after the General Election, the newspaper headlines ask, “how did the pollsters get it so wrong?”. That means we will see policies set out that are aimed at appealing to voters and business.

We know that ‘leasing in full expensing’ isn’t a rallying cry that will gets hearts fluttering across the nation. It is though critical for increasing business investment – a case we made to HMT and one they accepted.

At the Spring Budget, the Chancellor hinted that the legislation to include leasing would be announced at another fiscal event. This could mean in the summer when the general capital allowances consultation is pencilled in to be published. It could also mean in September.

Published 24 Apr 2024

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