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Our Budget demands to Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond

It is being billed as the last Budget before Brexit but what will Philip Hammond’s Budget on October 29th mean for your business?

The British Chambers of Commerce – to which Cumbria Chamber is affiliated – has submitted a formal letter to the Chancellor calling for urgent measures to boost the economy.

We are asking him to:

  • Increase the Annual Investment Allowance to £1m to incentivise businesses investment;
  • Introduce a Business Rates Investment Incentive, providing a 12-month delay before rates are increased when an existing property is expanded or improved and also before rates apply to a new-build property;
  • Not apply any new taxes or costs on businesses during this Parliament;
  • Reform the Apprenticeship Levy and drop SME co-funding for apprenticeships in England;
  • Delay the roll-out of Making Tax Digital for one year;
  • Abandon the uprating of business rates for the next two financial years for all businesses on the high street in town and city centres;
  • Provide funding to achieve full mobile coverage along transport corridors, road and rail.
Rob Johnston
Rob Johnston

Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “Economic growth this year is set to be the lowest since the financial crisis 10 years ago. Our economy is flatlining and it’s vital that the Chancellor seizes this opportunity to boost confidence.

“If the targeted, affordable measures we have put forward are delivered, it will drive greater investment in people, property, infrastructure and capital, lifting UK growth and productivity.”

Whatever the Budget brings, you can find out what it means for your business at the Chamber’s free Budget Breakfast at Rheged, near Penrith, on Wednesday October 31st.

Rob said: “We are running this event in conjunction with our sponsors, RSM UK, the audit, tax and consulting specialists.

“We will provide an overview of what the Budget means for Cumbria while RSM’s analysts will set out the practical implications for businesses.

“Very often it’s not what is in the Chancellor’s speech that is significant, but the small print in the Treasury papers released afterwards.

RSM“That’s why we are waiting until the Wednesday, two days after the Budget, to hold the breakfast event. That allows time to drill down into the detail to provide insightful analysis.

“This will be essential information, making it well worth attending.”

To book your free place, click here.

The event begins at 8am with a buffet breakfast and concludes around 10am.

Ahead of the Budget, the Government has confirmed that the freeze on fuel duty will continue – a move the Chamber has welcomed.

The BBC is reporting that the Chancellor is planning a further clampdown on the IR35 rules for personal service companies.

Changes last year made public sector organisations using personal service companies as contractors liable for any back tax if HMRC decides someone is not a contractor but in reality an employee. These rules could be extended to apply to businesses that commission work from personal service companies.

Rob said: “We are hoping the Budget will bring an announcement on a Borderlands Growth Deal.

“This would see funds devolved from the British and Scottish governments to fund transport projects and other schemes to boost the economy of the Borderlands region, which is made up of Cumbria, Northumberland, Dumfries and Galloway and The Borders.

“The Chancellor mentioned Borderlands in last year’s Budget and since then local authorities on both sides of the border have been working hard to make it a reality. It could be a game changer for Cumbria if it comes off.”

As well as analysing the Budget, RSM’s experts will provide an update on the Government’s Making Tax Digital scheme.

This is being phased in from April next year and will immediately affect all businesses and other bodies with turnover above the £85,000 VAT threshold.

RSM will give an overview, explain what the changes mean for your business and how you can prepare.

The Budget has been brought forward from November to clear the decks for what the Government hopes will be the final phase of Brexit negotiations.

Rob added: “It’s usual for the Budget to be held on a Wednesday but, according to reports, Mr Hammond’s spin doctors counselled against it this time because the last Wednesday in October is Halloween.

“Apparently, they were worried about unsavoury headlines along the lines of ‘Hammond’s house of horrors’.”

For more information on the Budget Breakfast, email our business development manager Derek Armstrong at derek@cumbriachamber.co.uk or call him on 07841 743066.


© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce


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