Cheers for business from the Budget, says King's Lynn finance expert
Pubs, hotels and restaurants can all raise a toast to the Chancellor following today's Budget, according to a West Norfolk-based finance expert.
The announcement of a 50 per cent business rates discount for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors was one of the key measures contained in Rishi Sunak's statement this afternoon.
The rate relief, which is worth up to a maximum of £110,000, will be applied during the next financial year, from next April.
And Dan Jastrzebski, a partner at Stephenson Smart in Lynn, believes that, together with moves to scrap increases in alcohol duties, will make a difference.
He said: "In terms of business, the big winner out of it is the hospitality sector."
Plans to increase National Insurance contributions as a levy for health and social care had already been announced ahead of Mr Sunak's statement.
But, with the rising cost of living an area of increasing concern, Mr Jastrzebski said he was surprised there had been no change to VAT levels on energy prices.
"That had been touted and is something they could have done to help people this winter."
A planned increase in fuel duty was also scrapped, although some motoring organisation say the price of filling up is already at a record high.
And Mr Jastrzebski also argued that plans to reduce the Universal Credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent from December, allowing claimants to keep more of the benefit they receive, would not have a universally positive impact.
"It's something that is very much aimed at the working man and woman and is not going to help everybody", he said.
However, despite plans to increase corporation tax from 2023 and criticism of the Chancellor over his plans for a banking levy, Mr Jastrezebski does not expect the trend of tax rises to continue.
He said: "He wants to see taxes going down by the end of the Parliament. I don't foresee any extra increases even though they were suggesting Capital Gains Tax could go up.
"Some of the potential areas of increase that had been touted haven't come to fruition. It's not as bad as it could have been."