New Chancellor – Phillip Hammond
Following George Osborne’s departure, new Chancellor Phillip Hammond is expected to clarify the new government’s fiscal stance in the coming days. In one of his last statements, outgoing Chancellor Osborne suggested that a drop in Corporation tax would be one of his priorities in an attempt to signal that the UK is ‘open for business’. However, Mr Hammond would not be drawn on specific policy changes in a BBC interview (14/07/16).
Mr Hammond accepted that his main role in the short term was to bring confidence back into the thinking, planning, and decision making of consumers and business. Acknowledging that Brexit ‘was a surprise’ for many, he was clear that uncertainty would quickly disappear as the government got on with its job. Although he would not be drawn on the success or otherwise of the previous Chancellor, he did suggest that the change of Chancellor was not about policy but about creating a new team that would take the UK economy forward.
He stated that economic success could only be judged in terms of improving standards of living, and by increasing the ‘economic security’ of all groups in society. This, he implied would, in the long run, depend upon getting the right level of investment – in people and industry.