The 2016 Autumn Statement, the first made my Chancellor Philip Hammond, threw up all sorts of surprises, namely that this will be the last ever Autumn Statement…
We also learnt that the National Living Wage is to rise from £7.20 an hour to £7.50 from April this year; insurance premium tax is to rise from 10% to 12% in June; and we saw the introduction of a £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas.
However, from a press & PR point of view, it’s not just monitoring the announcements being made, but also keeping tabs on what’s not being announced. For example, our client Bishop’s Move, who the UK’s largest family owned removals company, desperately wanted to see more reform to stamp duty. As this wasn’t a main focus for the Chancellor, this gave us a platform on which to comment. This resulted in various high-profile articles such as in City A.M.; Londonlovesbusiness; and Startups.co.uk:
But we weren’t done there. The Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rise came as a shock, particularly to those working in the insurance sector and who had witnessed not one, but two increases in the past 12 months. Our client, UNA, the organisation owned by 13 of the UK’s largest regional insurance brokers, found this latest rise hard to accept and felt this was punishing the good, honest consumer. A message that we conveyed to a nationwide audience with media coverage secured across the mainstream national media:
Finally, Russell New – a West Sussex-based firm of business, tax, and charity advisers – wanted to see assurances from the government that they were going to ensure the UK remains an attractive proposition for investors.
The firm was also featured in the live Autumn Statement text in both the International Business Times and the Daily Telegraph.
We look forward to securing such results again in what will be the first Spring Statement in 2017.