Aiken PR

The Briefing

Spring Statement Analysis

by Aiken PR


Analysis of the Spring Statement as released by the Chancellor today.

*Please note, the statement covers matters which are not currently devolved to NI.

NI Specific Content

 VAT, Air Passenger Duty and Tourism in Northern Ireland

The government have opened a call for evidence on any impacts that VAT and/or APD have on tourism. Following this announcement DUP officials including MP, Nigel Dodds announced that this was a result of the DUP’s ongoing relationship with the UK government.


Chancellor announced £1.5 billion funding to departments and devolved administrations to prepare for Brexit in 2018–19. This was part of the £3 billion announced in the Autumn budget of last year.

Other points of note

Small businesses

The continuation of the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme which was due to expire on 31st March has been extended and is seen as an extension of DUP policy on the matter. Senior figures such as Sammy Wilson, MP have welcomed the decision.

Chancellor brings forward the next business rates revaluation from 2022 to 2021.

Review into how to help the least productive businesses catch up with the most, and how to eliminate late payments to small businesses.


Government has reached a deal with the West Midlands for 215,000 new homes by 2030–31, with the help of a £100m grant from the land remediation fund.

Housing growth partnership – which provides financial support for small housebuilders – will be more than doubled to £220m.

Plastic waste

Chancellor announces call for evidence to tackle need to reduce plastic waste, including a look at alternative materials; how the tax system can drive technological and behavioural change.

£20m of funds available now to businesses and universities to stimulate new thinking on the subject.


Forecast of 1.5% growth for 2018, revised up from 1.4%.

In 2019 growth is forecast to be 1.3%, then 1.3% in 2020, 1.4% in 2021, and 1.5% in    2022.

In November, growth was forecast at 1.3% for 2019, 1.3% for 2020, 1.5% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022.


Forecast for borrowing of £45.2bn in 2017–18, revised down from £49.9bn. That is equivalent to 2.2% of GDP.

Borrowing is forecast to be 1.8% of GDP in 2018–19, 1.6% in 2019–20, 1.3% in 2020–21, 1.1% in 2021–22, and 0.9% in 2022–23.

A small current surplus is forecast for 2018–19, meaning the government would only have to borrow to fund capital investment, and not day–to–day spending

Debt is forecast to fall as a share of GDP in 2019–2020, a year later than forecast in November.


Detailed spending review in 2019.