Autumn Statement reaction from RSM

By Anita Jaynes on 26 November, 2015

Commenting on the Autumn Statement delivered yesterday 25 November, Lucie Hammond, tax partner at RSM in Swindon, said: “It was fantastic to hear the news that the South West has the highest employment rate in the UK, to ensure that continues it’s essential that businesses take advantage of tax incentives that are available, for example in innovation, which will help to bolster investment to retain skilled staff and to continue to create jobs in the region.

“With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, those who may struggle will be larger companies, in particular agencies in Swindon that supply temporary staff – who will see it as a ‘levy on employment’. Clearly this move, which the government predicts will generate £3bn annually by 2021, has been designed to sidestep the ‘lock’ on National Insurance.

“We knew that someone would suffer as a result of the planned cuts to tax credits being scrapped, and in this instance it is buy-to-let landlords. In the Budget last July, the Chancellor announced tax increases from 2017 for landlords, and now they’ve been hit again – this time with a 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties and second homes. There’s a real risk here that rents could increase as landlords pass down the additional cost to their tenants, or that the rental property sector in Swindon could shrink as landlords sell up. Either way, this could have a seriously detrimental effect on the regions buy-to-let industry.

“Not surprisingly, we heard there would be a fresh crackdown on tax avoidance which will raise an additional £5bn. At first glance this looks impressive, but in reality, this was always on the cards as a result of the redeploying of resources in HMRC. So you could say that this was just a very good example of ‘window dressing.’”

RSM is the UK’s seventh largest firm of audit, tax and consulting services with revenues approaching £300m a year. The firm has 3,400 partners and staff operating from 35 locations throughout the UK. In Swindon their office is based on Westmead Drive.

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Pictured above: Lucie Hammond of RSM in Swindon