UK Autumn Statement: Key Points and Comments

 

Yesterday Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his Autumn Statement to parliament. The update of the government’s taxation and spending plans is meant to  make Britain“ready to seize the opportunities of leaving the European Union”.

For a full summary of the statement visit HM Treasury Autumn Statement 2016.

Below is a recap of key points with a direct impact on the businesses community:

Committing to cutting corporation tax to 17% by 2020

The main rate of corporation tax has already been cut from 28% in 2010 to 20%, and will be cut again to 17% by 2020, by far the lowest in the G20 and benefitting over 1 million businesses.

£400 million through the British Business Bank to invest in growing innovative firms

The funds will be invested in innovative small businesses with potential for growth, to provide the finance that they need to expand. This will support up to £1 billion of new investment.

Rural Rate Relief will increase to 100%

Rural rate relief will increase from 50 to 100% in April 2017, saving a business up to £2900 a year. This business rate relief is available to businesses in rural areas with a population under 3,000.

Clear and timely action will be required for continued British business success

Spotcap Managing Director Niels Turfboer provided commentary on the statement across international and national media stressing the imporance of clear and timely action.

“The British government and regulators have done an amazing job, which is unparalleled in Europe, in making London a global fintech leader. Going forward they need to emphasise that they will continue backing the development of this quickly growing scene.”

– CNBC

“London is currently the world’s largest centre for fintech with investment growing faster here than anywhere in the world. In 2015 it generated £6.6bn in revenue, attracted £524m in investment and employed 61,000 people. The Autumn Statement provided the government with an opportunity to support this industry and protect the UK’s role as a global leader in financial services.”

– AltFi News

“SMEs currently account for 99.9% of the UK’s private sector companies and will contribute £217 billion to the economy by 2020.

It is important to remember that following the Brexit announcement, a fall in interest rates and a predicted spike in inflation, SMEs are coping with huge challenges and an uncertain economic outlook. They need reason to feel confident.

Some of the points mentioned will indirectly help drive SME growth. However, the overall verdict is that the Chancellor could have provided more specific initiatives on how to boost overall SME growth – a corner-stone of the British economy.

For example he could have addressed access to finance for SMEs, which will be an important aspect of helping increase productivity and competitiveness that is a current focus for the government.”

– Fresh Business Thinking