November Budget 2017

So, I’m sat here preparing my presentation for tonight on the budget – I guess I should be thankful it won’t be a long one!

The economic outlook has worsened with the OBR (Office of Budget Responsibility) reducing the forecast for growth.  However, Phillip Hammond has increased spending with very little increase in tax revenues to bridge the gap.  This means that borrowing will inevitably increase which means the notion of “balancing the books” seems to have gone out of the window.

On an everyday level for individuals and small business owners I would say the major headlines are:

  • Living wage increases to £7.83 from £7.50
  • No reduction in the VAT threshold limit
  • Personal allowance to increase to £11, 850 in April 2018 & higher rate allowance to increase to £46,350

I held my breath when Mr Hammond turned to the SME’s; if I had continue to hold my breath through this I would have had the ability to still exhale some at the end!  To be honest unless you’re involved with the digital world, technology companies or the construction industry there was really very little there.  Measures seemed to focus small tax regulations – the announcement on business rates being about staircase tax and a switch from RPI to CPI!  There was just simply nothing to assist the majority of small business, many of which are already facing a squeezed bottom line after inflationary pressures and the implementation of auto enrolment pensions.  And we mustn’t forget that the Spring Budget announcement that the dividend allowance will drop to £2,000 next April is still due to happen.

The SME was described as the backbone of the UK economy; well, with so little to support it back pain is inevitable which will mean that the investment in the NHS will be well needed.