The Spring Budget has become a victim of the snap election.
Philip Hammond has not had much luck with what he said would be his first and last Spring Budget. His proposal to increase Class 4 national insurance contributions from April 2018 survived only a week before being dropped. Then when the Finance Bill was published in March, he won the dubious accolade of producing the longest ever Bill, at 762 pages. Just over a month later, the early election forced him to cull over half the Bill’s contents so that he could push a slim-line consensus version through before Parliament shut up shop.
As a result, several important changes that were pending have now disappeared. For example:
Whether the “lost” legislation will re-emerge in a summer Finance Bill after the election will depend on who wins the election. If a Conservative Government wins, the question is will it want to issue new proposals rather than be constrained by pledges made in the 2015 manifesto?
Another possible scenario is that the start date for some measures, such as the money purchase annual allowance cut, may be pushed back to 2018/19 because of the delay in reaching the statute book.
Only time will tell.