Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°C

Search
Suffolk Business Awards 2018 Tickets

Box Office Phil Ditches the Red Box

PUBLISHED: 09:44 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:59 15 March 2018

Andy Scott of Ensors.

Andy Scott of Ensors.

Archant

Andrew Scott , tax manager at Ensors Chartered Accountants , assesses Philip Hammond’s first Spring Statement.

Andy Scott of Ensors. Andy Scott of Ensors.

The introduction of the Spring Statement as one of the Chancellor’s first acts really is a testament to his ironic nickname “Box Office Phil”, as he is renowned for avoiding a showmanship style of politics in favour of caution to avoid unintended headlines.

The new annual economic report by the Government was not intended to reveal any new tax or spending initiatives, indeed the famous ‘Red Box’ of announcements was ditched for this occasion.

This is actually a welcome change for our tax system, as the previous twice-yearly meddling has contributed to the UK now having the longest tax code in the world, at more than 10m words.

Philip Hammond set the scene for a current budget surplus expected in 2018-19, three years after his predecessor pledged to eliminate the structural 
deficit by 2015-16. Cautious Phil was careful not to fully allocate this extra wriggle-room.

This will clearly establish new political dividing lines between those who want to press the breaks on austerity and those who want to prioritise making a start on tangibly paying down our national debt, now standing at an eye-watering £1.8trillion (85.6% of GDP in 2017-18).

By contrast, it took the UK just short of half a century to pay off the debt left behind after the Second World War.

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s outlook showed an “unexpected strength in tax receipts since November”, with onshore Corporation Tax receipts exceeding their expectations. Receipts are forecast to total £752bon in 2017-18, nearly £26bn more than the year before.

Whilst this is reassuring, bumper tax revenues could be a sign of uncertainty. The cost of tax relief to the Exchequer for capital expenditure incurred by businesses has fallen from £23.1bn last year to £21.5bn forecast for this year; this may be in part due to the cut in the Corporation Tax rate from 20% to 19% but weaker business investment can result in tax reliefs not being claimed.

There were some muffled announcements but 
these mainly related to consultations for proposals to introduce a VAT “pay-as-you-go” system for certain online traders and an opportunity for external investors in companies to bank preferential entrepreneurs’ tax rates in cases where their shareholding is diluted below 5%, which may not be too popular with all start-up companies who usually want continual commitment from existing investors.

All in all, there might not have been any rabbits being pulled out of hats but there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel as far as the public finances are concerned, after much false hope.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

A Suffolk engineer has been elected as the first female regional chair of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Prime minister Theresa May heard from an East Anglian business leader about how the government could work more closely with the region to drive growth.

An Essex department store is hosting a gin bar featuring fruit liqueurs from a celebrated jam maker based in the county.

What does having a good ‘employer brand’ really mean for a business? According to Simon Barrows, the man who claims to have first coined the term ‘the employer brand’ its about much more than just uploading a set of worthy statements onto a website.

A Suffolk brewer and pubs owner has welcomed a decision by the Welsh National Assembly to introduce a new law raising the cost of cheap, strong alcohol and urged the Westminster government to follow its lead.

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24