The Spring Statement has increasingly become an irrelevance: not only are they light on any meaningful new policies, they have increasingly become updates simply filled with partisan rhetoric and jokes at the expense of the party in opposition.
However, given this morning’s (Wednesday 23 March 2022) UK CPI inflation reading showed the UK’s inflation rate increased to 6.2% in February (its highest reading since 1992), today’s Spring Statement had to be different as the pressure was on Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to help protect households from the mounting cost-of-living crisis – especially given taxes are due to rise in just two weeks (Wednesday 6 April 2022).
And with an eye clearly on the next general election (Thursday 2 May 2024), Rishi Sunak used today’s Spring Statement to appease Conservative backbenchers by announcing a number of measures that should help the low and middle income earners who helped the Conservatives win seats in the Labour heartlands at the last election.
Rishi Sunak’s key announcements can be read in the accompanying article, but from an equity market standpoint, the most noticeable movers include shares in oil and gas companies such as BP and Shell which have risen on the fact that Rishi Sunak ignored calls for a windfall tax.
Investment Management Team