By Anthony Stevens
CFW Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers
CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak claims he's listened to voters who put the Conservatives back in control. While the economic impact of coronavirus will be temporary, employers, employees and the self-employed will get support to help them cope with the fallout and downturn the outbreak creates. £30bn is pledged for the NHS, for tax breaks and loans for the self-employed and small businesses.
The Chancellor's confident about economic growth over the next five years, albeit tempered by the effects of coronavirus. Support is promised for the private sector, with funding for start-ups but the lifetime limit on Entrepreneurs Relief goes down from £10 to £1m. Increasing the Employers Allowance to £4,000 and R&D Tax Credits to 13 per cent for larger businesses is welcomed.
In the leisure sector, lifting the business rates burden for those with a rateable value of less than 51k means a 100 per cent rates discount for 12 months. Pubs get £5,000 rate relief for a year to help combat the effects of reduced footfall. Small businesses who don't pay business rates can get a £3,000 cash grant. Smaller tax reliefs announced included increasing NI thresholds for employers, abolishing the 'tampon tax' and freezing duty on fuel, beer, whisky, cider and wine.
The red diesel discount that's essential for farmers, fishermen, for rail and domestic users hasn't been removed as feared but there will be a review of other sectors using it and reductions within the next two years.
Investing in infrastructure and greener solutions is to be a funding priority with new roads, education, affordable homes and initiatives to get vulnerable groups such as veterans and the homeless into accommodation and work.
The Budget didn't fully outline how these changes are to be paid for. The planned reduction in Corporation Tax has been scrapped and HMRC are to be given funding to raise revenue from tax evasion which could mean more tax investigations.
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