Report on the Budget Statement 2020

Posted: 200311 @ 1330
Updated: 200311 @ 1432

HM Treasury website
Briefings and news. More
Budget 2020 document

Summary of the Budget statement

Extracts from the Budget statement 2020 PDF document.

The outlook for the Spring Budget 2020 from the Institute of Fiscal Studies

IFS website

How should fiscal policy respond to Covid-19?
It looks likely that responding to the coronavirus outbreak (covid-19) will be at the centre of Wednesday’s Budget. The IFS look at some of the options the Chancellor has. More

See a guide to Budget statement buzzwords. More... See report on the Budget in November 2019. More
Budget Statement on Wednesday 11th March 2020
The Spring Statement made in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, on Wednesday 11th March 2020 provided an update on the Government's plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. These forecasts are published alongside the Spring Statement. Budget Statement

This Budget was an unusual one with so much going on - the Coronavirus problem developing rapidly in the UK, the UK/EU negotiations in progress, falling crude oil prices and falling stockmarkets too. But as usual we have a prompt report on the statement made by the Chancellor with points of interest to classic motoring enthusiasts. It is released within a few minutes of his ending his statement in the House of Commons and updated later when the supporting documents were released on the GOV.UK website and could be reviewed.

What did we see of interest to classic car enthusiasts?
With the pressing issues with the Brexit process and the uncertainties and concerns over the Covid-19 virus epidemic and consequences for the UK economy, the Chancellor's Spring Statement was focused on the performance and prospects for the UK economy and resilience depending on several outcomes for the Brexit negotiations and the Covid-19 situation currently in progress in the UK.

Fuel duty
After a freeze for a decade an increase in fuel duty was widely predicted. The Times said today "an increase in fuel duty is on the cards as part of the climate change agenda.
The fuel duty freeze has cost £9bn a year according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies". The Chancellor's statement included the good news - a continuation of the fuel duty freeze for another year saving a typical driver £1,200pa. HM Treasury's supporting document says "the Government will freeze fuel duty for a tenth year in a row, cumulatively saving the average car driver £1,200 compared to the pre-2010 escalator. Future fuel duty rates will be considered alongside measures that are needed to help meet the UK’s net zero commitment.".

The Chancellor was expected to scrap the £2.4bn red diesel subsidy for users of farming and construction vehicles, but it was thought he might go further. He announced "the Government will also remove the entitlement to use red diesel from April 2022, except in agriculture, fish farming, rail and for non-commercial heating (including domestic heating). By removing this tax relief on pollution, the Government will encourage businesses and industry to improve the energy efficiency of their vehicles and machinery or look for greener alternatives. The development of these alternatives will be supported by the Government more than doubling its investment in the Energy Innovation Programme. (39)". So whilst he is abolishing the 11p/litre duty for for most sectors using red diesel there will be a delay of 2 years but agriculture will retain the relief paying duty of only 11p/litre.

Vehicle Excise Duty
The supporting document released by HM Treasury says "Vehicle Excise Duty (VED): Rates – The Government will increase VED rates for cars, vans and motorcycles in line with RPI from 1 April 2020. To support the haulage sector, the Government will freeze HGV VED and the HGV Road User Levy for 2020-21".

VED: Zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) – from 1 April 2020, the Government will exempt all ZEVs registered until 31st March 2025 from the VED ‘expensive car’ supplement. The measure will incentivise the uptake of ZEVs to support the phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles".

Pot hole repairs
This is a topic that has been seen in many recent Budget statements but the Chancellor announced a £2.5bn five year fund for pothole repairs for UK roads. This is welcome annousincement for classic car enthusiasts as riding over, or into, a pothole can cause damage to the suspension components.

Roads investment
The Chancellor announced £27bn investment in road projects with 4,000 miles of roads. He also announced that the funding will include improvements to the A303.

Insurance Premium Tax
Fortunately the Chancellor's statement did not include any
further increases in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT).

Alcohol duty rates – Duty rates on beer, spirits, wine and cider will be frozen.
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