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News Item: Autumn Statement Sets Out Government Plans for Pre-Election Economy

This year, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement was somewhat less dramatic than his first, last year, in the aftermath of the emergency ‘Truss Budget’.

This Statement was also a “Mini-Budget” in scope and impact.

Updated forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility give a broader analysis of economic health in the UK. For the hire sector, key issues of interest were changes to the Full Expensing (FE) of capital investment, additional support on skills and jobs and funding for transport, infrastructure and housing. As ever, the Statement as delivered represents only a proportion of the total changes being made or proposed. There was a hefty bundle of Treasury documents to work through.

On Full Expensing, HAE EHA has been part of a ‘Leasing Working Group’ which was set up after Budget 2023 last spring. We have been actively contributing with other stakeholders to make the case for including assets purchased for hire and rental within FE; they are excluded which disadvantages the sector.

In a wider policy context, as well as encouraging further investment, inclusion in FE would support additional pace in decarbonisation and productivity gains.

While disappointed that the Chancellor did not announce a change to FE eligibility, there is a commitment to ongoing discussion with the affected sectors, including hire, and for technical consultation. We are pressing for this to be as early in the New Year as possible. Contact with Treasury officials resumed almost immediately after the Chancellor sat down.

HAE EHA is grateful to Randalls Monitoring for the report on the Statement and a summary of some wider proposals and consultations also announced. Members are advised to take professional advice and follow their own due diligence, if considering taking investment or other actions.

If you have any questions about the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement or any of the lobbying work being carried out by the association contact Mark Bradshaw, HAE EHA Public Affairs Manager, on 0121 380 4621.

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