To demonstrate just how held-back government activity has become it is worth scanning news and press releases issued by the Treasury/HMRC in recent weeks. In November 2019, there were six posts in the “Money” section.
It is possible to imagine Whitehall mandarins scratching their heads as their political bosses frantically drive around the country drumming up votes for their re-election.
Of recent posts made, the most popular were:
- HMRC tips on avoiding Self-Assessment tax scams, and
- An update on minimum wage recommendation by the Low Pay Commission
No mention of any tax changes for 2020-21 – we are still waiting for the Chancellor to present an Autumn budget – presumably government will have to play a hasty catch-up in this regard when the outcome of the general election is known in a few days.
And yet advisors and their clients still need to keep their collective noses to the grindstone. Not for them an enforced break from work as usual; bills still need to be paid, deals won and executed.
It is instructive that much is still done even though government is presently marking time.
Clearly, Whitehall staff are still at work, and it takes little in the way of reasoning to conclude that for industry and the Civil Service it is business as usual.
Hopefully, the Treasury hiatus will resolve if a government with a working majority is elected next week. Let’s hope that this is the outcome. A further, extended period of uncertainty is the last thing we need.