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Key points from today's Budget analysed by King's Lynn accountants



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It was much leaked but today’s Budget delivered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak will prove as crucial for West Norfolk as the rest of the country.

We asked Lynn accountancy firm Stephenson Smart to cast its expert eye over Wednesday’s speech to pick out the key items.

Director Dan Jastrzebski said it was a “highly anticipated” speech but in the end there were few shocks.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced plans to support self-employed workers (44828453)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced plans to support self-employed workers (44828453)

Income tax allowances were frozen until 2026 and there was no change in National Insurance.

Furlough will be continued past its previous cut-off point of the end of April, until September, with the full 80 per cent of support offered until the predicted roadmap return to ‘normality’ in July and then a 10 per cent contribution expected from employers rising to 20 per cent in August.

The number of self-employed people offered support also has been widened.

Banham, Norfolk, 04/07/2020..Cabinet Minister Liz Truss MP visiting Banham Zoo on their first day of opening post Covid-19 lockdown. . .Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2020. (44831599)
Banham, Norfolk, 04/07/2020..Cabinet Minister Liz Truss MP visiting Banham Zoo on their first day of opening post Covid-19 lockdown. . .Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2020. (44831599)

Business rate relief will be extended in full for another three months and then at 66 per cent for another nine months. “That can obviously help the retail and hospitality sectors in the area, which are suffering at the minute,” said Dan.

“In addition to that with the tourism and hospitality and retail sector there is reduced VAT at the moment of five per cent which was due to end in March, that now stays until September and an incremental increase from October to March when it will go back to the usual 20 per cent, so that should stimulate the economy in the area hopefully, which is quite heavily weighted into the tourism sector, especially on the north Norfolk coast.”

“In terms of individuals, there is also the stamp duty extension so if anyone in the area was worried about the looming deadline at the end of March it is extended to the end of June on sales up to £500,000, I know there is lots going through and it was touch and go whether it went through in time. Then it is tapered down, staying at £250,000 before returning to £125,000 in October."

Andrew Proctor. (44831638)
Andrew Proctor. (44831638)

Changes to corporation tax, which is levied on profits, were sure to be headline grabbing, he said.

“The stand out figure I’m sure that people will focus on is corporation tax rising from 19 per cent to 25 per cent in 2023, if your profits are over £250,000 a year. If your profits are only up to £50,000 you only pay the current 19 per cent, then it is tapered.

“The majority of small businesses in the area are not going to be affected by this.”

“The biggest change from a tax point of view is something called a Super Deduction to 130 per cent of the value of an asset but the idea is that the tax relief will try to make businesses invest.

“For every pound that you spend you could save 25p of tax.”

North West Norfolk MP James Wild asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the prospect of a nursing college in King's Lynn at PMQs on September 9. (44832759)
North West Norfolk MP James Wild asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the prospect of a nursing college in King's Lynn at PMQs on September 9. (44832759)

Dan added: “The main message from the budget has been that he is going to continue spending as he is at the minute at least until September time, with the caution that things will need to change in the future but it will be a couple of years time before any major impact on businesses is going to happy and seems to suggest there will not be any tax rises for individuals for the lifetime of this Parliament.”

There was no change on alcohol duty, which will also be welcomed by the hospitality sector.

The Government announced eight Freeports would be opened in England, including at Felixstowe and Harwich in East Anglia, a move welcomed by South West Norfolk Tory MP Liz Truss.

She said: “Today’s announcement that Felixstowe and Harwich have secured freeport status is great news. I supported colleagues in lobbying for this and it will be a fantastic boost for East Anglia driving forward investment, economic prosperity and jobs for the region.”

James Wild, Conservative North West Norfolk MP, also hailed the Budget.

He said: "“This Budget will help protect families, jobs, and businesses in North West Norfolk as part of a huge package of over £400 billion of support this year and next.

“Measures including extending the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift, continuing the furlough scheme, and widening access to self-employment support will give people the support they need to get through the pandemic.

“It is great news for our tourism and hospitality sector that the VAT cut and business rate holiday which I campaigned on have been extended. The new restart grants will help firms to bounce back.

“The Budget shows the government’s commitment to growth across the country. King’s Lynn and West Norfolk is in the top priority group for the new Levelling Up fund for projects up to £20 million and has been granted £125,000 to support the development of bids.

“The Chancellor was also honest about the challenges facing the public finances due to this unprecedented support and the damage done to the economy by Covid and the steps we need take to start fixing them once on the road to recovery.

“With further measures to boost business investment, improve productivity, and to encourage firms to take on more apprentices and trainees this Budget lays the foundations for the recovery and our future economy.”

County council leader Andrew Proctor, a Conservative, welcomed the Chancellor's "upbeat budget", believing that it will support Norfolk's recovery from the Covid pandemic.

Mr Proctor said: "I welcome the upbeat budget unveiled today, to kickstart the UK’s recovery from the pandemic and seek to protect jobs and livelihoods.

"The extension of furlough, help for the self employed and the wide-ranging package of support for businesses – including our hard-hit retail, culture and hospitality sectors – will give them the confidence needed to plan for the future and build back better.

"The new restart grant is just what is needed to give the economy a boost, along with business rates relief, VAT reductions and freezing duties.

"Investment in traineeships and business management support is an investment in our future and fits perfectly with the county council’s drive to improve skills and diversify our jobs market.

"And I particularly welcome the Chancellor's focus on the future economy – including a green industrial revolution and digital innovation. Norfolk, with the University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, the John Innes Centre and Lotus Cars, is ideally placed to work with the Government on this."

Mr Proctor said councils played a leading role in the pandemic response and would do so in the recovery, especially if the Government put their finances on a firm footing.

He said: "Putting local government on a stronger, more financial sustainable footing will definitely boost the government’s recovery efforts and assist the Government's work in levelling up. That way we will be well equipped to work with Government to lead the recovery."



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