Spring Budget 2021: Reactions

3 Mar 21

COVID-19 financial support extended

Jonathan Geldart, director-general of the Institute of Directors, said:

“The extension to the furlough scheme will provide a vital cushion to support jobs as restrictions unwind and firms begin the costly process of rescaling.

“Restart grants and ongoing business rates relief give a cashflow boost to many firms that will struggle to make full productive use of their properties as restrictions linger.

“Widening income support for the self-employed is a step forward, but the Chancellor missed a trick by not providing grants for company directors who continue to be left out in the cold.”

Corporation tax to rise to 25% in 2023

Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“While no business will relish paying higher rates of corporation tax in future, the impact of the Chancellor’s tough decision is blunted by the big new incentives for investment, lower rates for the smallest firms, and the extension of coronavirus support measures in the short term.”

130% tax ‘super-deduction’ and schemes to encourage investment

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:

“The new super deduction option sounds very promising, and we look forward to further detail on the investments it will cover – it should be made accessible to the smallest firms.

“Confirmation of pre-announced measures like Help To Grow on management and digital skills, and Restart cash grants, are welcome.”

Income tax thresholds frozen

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said:

“Freezing the income tax thresholds from next April until 2026 at their 2021/22 levels means individuals will pay more tax than they would have done had the limits been increased as usual in line with inflation.

“While inflation is currently low, and the uplift this April based on a 0.5% inflation increase, there is the potential for inflation to be higher in future years, possibly resulting from a post-lockdown consumer spending spree.”

VAT cut extended for hospitality and tourism

Jeremy Coker, president of the Association of Taxation Technicians, said:

“Many struggling hospitality businesses will welcome this extension, especially those who have had to scale back their activities or close down completely during the latest lockdown period.

“We now think the Government should go on to take a closer look at the complicated and often confusing rules which govern how VAT is charged on food and drink.”

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