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Could this be the first and last Autumn Statement for Philip Hammond?

By S Wilson, Nov 21 2016 09:30AM

On 23 November, Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver his first Autumn Statement, and the first major financial announcement since Theresa May came to power. Given the current political climate, uncertainty following the Brexit vote and the US election result, everyone will be looking for reassurance and stability.

Hammond has reportedly told colleagues that he would like to see the Autumn Statement effectively scrapped altogether in future, in favour of a return to ’fiscal forecasting’. According to the Financial Times, he added that he wished to move away from “gimmicks and micromanagement”.

It could also be his last for another reason.

Theresa May might consider that the triggering of Article 50 justifies the need for a General Election. The chances of a general election in 2017 have doubled with the odds slashed from 4/1 to 2/1, according to bookmaker Ladbrokes. This follows the High Court ruling that Parliament must be given a vote on triggering Article 50.

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