Budget 2015: Grant Thornton reaction

In a round-up of the Budget speech on 18 March 2015, Trevor Shaw, Business Tax Director at the Leicester office of leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:
“This was always going to be a political budget aimed at convincing the floating voter to trust George Osborne and that he will deliver growth, reduced deficit and prosperity for all. However he could not do this while having a major tax give away to help the floating voters go blue in May.

“Therefore this was always likely to be a ‘jam tomorrow’ budget, provided that we can afford it.

“There are lots of good noises and certainly these all point in the right direction. The confirmation of previously announced positive changes such as the reduction in corporation tax to 20%, the abolition of employers NIC for under 21s and for apprentices under the age of 25, and the increase in personal allowances to £10,600, are all welcome.  The Chancellor is also promising to revisit the proposed reduction in the generous Annual Investment Allowance to encourage investment in plant and machinery in the future, and this is certainly a good thing for Medium Sized Businesses (MSBs) as they continue to grow and invest in the future. A review of business rates is also promised.

“But, has he gone far enough? MSBs need support to grow and although some of the announcements will do this there is no real reduction in red tape or increasing limits that have not changed in years and drag more and more businesses into punitive cashflow and administrative burdens. The Government needs to help MSBs if it is serious about creating a ‘British Mittelstand’ on which growth, jobs and prosperity can be driven.

“All in all, a political budget, generally neutral, but with the promise of good news in the future. As to whether it will sway the floating voter, we will find out on the morning of May 8th.”