Adrian Hemmings, partner at Simpkins Edwards LLP, commented:
“Phillip Hammond delivered his autumn statement in a markedly different and more measured style to his predecessor which received less heckling from the opposition benches. However, there didn’t appear to be any major giveaways to any sector or group and no major unexpected headlines.
“The biggest news for the south west is likely to be the cancellation of the fuel duty rise reversal, which is good news for individuals and businesses. Regional landlords and letting agents will feel the impact of the banning of lettings fees to the benefit of new tenants, but other measures such as the rise in insurance premium tax are likely to be so marginal that they won’t be felt in any significant way by individuals or businesses. The increases in the personal allowance and national living wage will be welcomed, particularly among lower earners.
“We had wondered whether there may be an announcement on south west train lines but there was nothing explicit so we continue to await the specifics of any forthcoming investment, and whether it is included within all the announced spending on infra-structure.
“Overall, Hammond appeared to focus much less on austerity measures – although most of these are still in place – instead taking a broader view on stimulating the economy, particularly via investment in infrastructure. So whilst there were no huge headline gains for anyone, there was no ‘new’ bad news either.”