Nick Paterno, Managing Partner at McBrides Chartered Accountants in Sidcup, said:
“The Chancellor’s Budget speech was heavy on jokes but light on measures to support the business community. The OBR’s forecasts for growth were revised down significantly from the March forecast and this reduction in anticipated growth prevented the naturally cautious Chancellor from providing further business incentives and reliefs. The second Budget of 2017 was more a case of celebrating what the Chancellor ‘didn’t do’ for example lowering the registration threshold for VAT (and thus risking the antagonism of ‘white van woman/man’ again!) or lifting the freeze on fuel duty.
“If the Chancellor wants businesses to invest further then there needs to be more encouragement such as enhanced tax breaks for investment in plant and machinery, and it was disappointing that there was no change in that regard.
“Tech companies were some of the only ones to receive the Chancellor’s favour as he announced a doubling of EIS investment limits for ‘knowledge intensive’ companies and a 1% increase in the Research and Development (R&D) credit.
“The National Living Wage will go up 4.4% to £7.83 from April. This will affect businesses with low paid workers, especially firms employing carers, cleaners and those in the agricultural and hospitality sectors.
“On an individual level, the basic rate income tax threshold will rise to £11,850 in April next year and the higher rate threshold will rise to £46,350.
“And of course, the headlines will be reserved for the abolition of stamp duty land tax on the first £300,000 of cost for first time buyers on properties up to £500,000 and the extra £3bn announced for Brexit costs. ”