THE Chancellor’s cut in beer duty is good news for Solihull drinkers but most of the Budget measures announced don’t go far enough to merit a full scale celebration.
This is the view of Lucas Markou, partner at Solihull accountants and business advisers Jerroms LLP.
However he welcomes the proposed relief which will see up to £2,000 wiped off employers’ national insurance bills and perhaps inject around £6 billion into the economy.
Mr Markou said: “This is a good move but more as a demonstration of support than from the level of financial help itself. I don’t think this will have a huge impact on encouraging job creation, but if we do see more signs of growth and optimism in the economy, this relief could certainly help to boost job numbers in small and medium sized businesses through adding to the confidence of employers.”
In another move aimed at helping businesses, George Osborne announced a further cut in Corporation Tax, which means that, by 2015, there will be the same rate (20 per cent) for both small and large businesses.
“Simplifying the Corporation Tax rate will eliminate the unnecessary complex calculations for medium and large businesses,” said Mr Markou.
“However, further cuts are essential if we are to attract some of the best businesses in the world to invest in the UK.”
In terms of individuals, the big news for many Solihull families was the additional child care allowance. The Chancellor has announced annual support of 20 per cent of childcare costs up to £6,000, in other words a maximum of £1,200 allowance per child.
The relief, estimated to cost £1 billion, will apply where both mother and father work and neither earn over £150,000 or for single mothers or fathers incurring childcare costs.
Mr Markou, while welcoming the move in principle, points out that £1,200 a year is not enough to cover the cost of even one day a week’s childcare.
“Unfortunately, while it is good headline-grabbing stuff, this move will not do enough to get valuable skills back into the workplace of growing businesses,” he said.
Solihull home buyers and the building industry are likely to benefit from the moves to encourage mortgage lending and assist with deposits. However, there was more the Chancellor could have done. “The threshold of house prices at which stamp duty land tax becomes payable could have been increased perhaps from £125,000 to £250,000,” said Mr Markou.