The government announced its intention to reinstate HMRC as a secondary preferential creditor in the 2018 Autumn Budget. Following consultation on this policy, the draft Finance Bill 2019/2020 was published. It was then subject to further technical consultation.
Usually a policy is confirmed (or delayed or abandoned) in the Autumn Budget and if confirmed, will be included in the Finance Bill that is published shortly after the Budget. The legislation then proceeds through Parliament and the Bill is enacted as the Finance Act in the following spring before the end of the fiscal year.
We expected the Autumn Budget to reconfirm the proposal to reintroduce Crown preference and had it done so, the final form legislation would have been included in a Finance Bill 2019-20. That Finance Bill would currently have been making its way through Parliament and could have expected to obtain Royal Assent, becoming the Finance Act 2020, before the end of March 2020.
However, Parliament was dissolved on 6 November 2019 for an early general election. The Budget (scheduled for 6 November) was cancelled and the timetable halted. Does this mean that there won’t be a Finance Act 2020 or that it will be delayed? In short, no.