Well I’m not sure about you but I didn’t really know whether to laugh or cry about the election result.
Similar to the majority of the electorate, I’m not a die hard political animal myself and most of the information I assimilate to help form an opinion comes from the media.
And if I’m honest, for some strange naive reason I was expecting the second female prime minister to have a number of similarities with the first.
Love or loathe Maggie, you generally felt you knew where you were with her. The fact that she “stuck to her guns” gave people a lot of confidence in her ability to lead even if they didn’t always agree with her message.
May, on the other hand appears to change tack with the prevailing wind. This lady is not just for turning, she seems to have made an art form out of it.
Things started OK with the “Brexit means Brexit” message just after she took over after the referendum but spiralled rapidly downhill from there.
Since the election, on the few rare occasions she has appeared to make a statement and answer some questions, the answers just seem false and scripted. If she has an empathetic personality then it’s certainly not coming across to me.
Has she cooked her goose? Is she (as George Osborne takes great delights in telling us) a dead woman walking? Presumably we’ll know in the next few weeks whether she is going the same way as Nick and Fiona.
Anyway, notwithstanding, she is now left having to manage a minority government and Brexit apart, there are a number of outstanding legislative matters that demand her attention.
One is the remainder of the Finance Bill 2017, many parts of which were placed in abeyance to accommodate the recent election.
Philip Hammond seems to be continuing at number 11, so hopefully this will result in a degree of continuity regarding the management of the UK’s finances.
Much like the civil service, our role as advisors to the business community was to a degree placed on hold during the recent campaigning period.
One major tax change that was deferred, and is still part of the original Finance Bill (but now a clause in abeyance) is the proposed implementation of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital program.
The terms and dates on which the process will commence remain undecided. Without this legislation reaching the statute books, there is no certainty. Key questions will be subject to speculation, including: will self-employed traders, including landlords, with turnover in excess of the current VAT registration limit, be required to upload their summarised accounts data to HMRC from April 2018?
Tax and accounting software providers must be biting their nails, as over 600 are presently investing in providing links for their users so that uploads from their software can be facilitated from April next year.
In fact, as we have said before, as things stand Making Tax Digital data uploads can ONLY be provided in this way – by third parties. HMRC are not providing direct access to taxpayers.
Let us hope that there will be a business-like return to parliament and that the remaining sections of the Finance Bill will be enacted so we all have some certainty.
Without this it is hard to see how we can advise clients, as we cannot plan for changes in law that may or may not occur.