Thrings partner Malcolm Emery, a dual-qualified chartered tax adviser and solicitor gives The Business Exchange his reaction following today’s Budget announcements.
“George Osborne delivered his sixth and final budget of this Parliament, and in true pre-election style, has attempted to woo those savers and first time buyers among us. Tax on income from savings will be abolished for millions while a new ISA will be available for first time buyers. The scheme will help many individuals save for a property by contributing £50 to every £200 they save. With property prices in the South West being among the highest in the UK outside of London, the scheme will hopefully assist more first time buyers to get on the property ladder.
“While some prefer to go out with a bang, Mr Osborne is obviously planning for his next term of office by delivering a very measured Budget. Building on the austerity measures implemented five years ago, he declared that ‘Britain is walking tall again’. The Office for Budget Responsibility says the UK is growing and it has revised its growth forecast for 2015 upward from 2.4% to 2.5% while the country’s debt is falling as a share of GDP.
“A pre-election Budget is never a good time to make waves but some mid-market businesses may be disappointed by today’s announcement. Despite significant tax revenues being generated in this market, successive governments have failed to invigorate businesses by introducing innovative tax reforms to help boost their profitability and the economy as a whole. A large number of these businesses operate in the South West, and many will argue that the lack of tax reforms has impacted on the performance of the local economy.
“The Chancellor is trying to assist smaller companies raise finance to help their businesses grow. He has announced changes to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts so that both schemes are compliant with the latest state aid rules. The EIS in particular is a very popular way for fast-growing companies, particularly those in the technology sector, to raise working capital from private equity sources.”