Chancellor Philip Hammond ditches Budget red box for pared-back spring statement
19 February 2018, 10:02
The Chancellor will ditch the famous Budget red box in his upcoming spring statement, which is expected to be a pared back event.
Philip Hammond will present updated forecasts for the economy to the Commons, but no major policy changes are expected in the 13 March address.
Mr Hammond has ditched the previous arrangement of effectively having two Budgets a year.
As a result, his update next month is anticipated to be a short speech of around 20 minutes.
A Treasury spokesman told the Financial Times: "There will be no red box, no official document, no spending increases, no tax changes."
The red box has been a common feature on Budget day for decades, with the Chancellor of the day brandishing it for the cameras in Downing Street before heading over to the House to address MPs.
Mr Hammond revealed his shift in Budget thinking in the autumn of 2016.
Outlining his reasoning behind the move, he said: "No other major economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice a year, and neither should we.
"From 2018 there will be a Spring Statement, responding to the forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility, but no major fiscal event.
"If unexpected changes in the economy require it, then I will, of course, announce actions at the spring statement, but I won't make significant changes twice a year just for the sake of it."