Spring Statement 2019: Reaction and talking points

13.03.2019

Blick Rothenberg's experts give their immediate reactions to today's Spring Statement announcement.

Deal dividend
 

'I am looking forward to seeing what the ‘deal dividend’ actually means for tax. I would be surprised if there are any real tax cuts, especially with planned tax changes already in place', said Nimesh Shah, a partner at Blick Rothenberg.
 

'I would like to see the ‘deal dividend’ used for a further reduction in corporation tax to 15%, especially in the event of a no-deal Brexit,' he added.

'Ordinarily a business would announce a dividend when they knew what they had, not based on an expectation,' said Andrew Sanford, partner at Blick Rothenberg.

 

Enterprise Investment Schemes ("EIS")

'Assuming a no-deal Brexit, EIS should be widened and relaxed to encourage more private investment in UK business, we would no longer be bound by the EU State Aid rules,' said Nimesh Shah.

 

Apprenticeships

'Releasing £700m funds for smaller companies is only one part of the issue. A relaxation in the criteria, particularly the 20% off-site learning, would be more attractive and will enable the benefits of the apprenticeship levy regime to be realised,' said Andy Timpson, partner at Blick Rothenberg.

Overseas talent

Lee Hamilton, partner at Blick Rothenberg said, 'It was heartening to hear the Chancellor talk about a continuing focus on attracting overseas talent to work in the UK. As part of this, I would hope to see future tax reform to extend and expand the current tax reliefs in respect of globally mobile employees, making it more cost-effective and attractive for overseas employers to send people to work in the UK.'

SMEs
 

'Good news in the Spring Statement for SME’s taking on apprentices as the funding is being brought forward to April. This is good for both SMEs and new entrants into the employee pool. If you haven’t taken on an apprentice yet you should look into it,' said Bobby Lane, partner at Blick Rothenberg.

'Nice to see late payments to SMEs remains a focus in the Spring Statement,' Bobby added.
 

'Good news but reporting in annual accounts won’t go far enough to stamp this out. We need real measures that will mean businesses take action rather than report words.'


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