The chancellor surprised many with his announcement of a £2,000 Employment Allowance for employer’s National Insurance contributions, which will benefit small business most and I believe will encourage job growth. Although no one foresaw this new policy, I’m glad that he has taken steps to tackle this tax on jobs with much more boldness than expected.
I thought maybe a small decrease or payment holiday would be announced. This was highest on my wish list for small businesses, so I’m pleased and I think many small businesses will be too.
With the scrapping of the proposed increase due in September, fuel duty has been frozen for three and a half years, the longest duty freeze for over 20 years. This is a relief for many small businesses around the country.
VAT didn’t feature much in this budget, with just technical tweaks and increases to thresholds, which isn’t too surprising after the “omnishambles” of 2012 with the likes of the U-turn on the pasty tax! The VAT measures in the budget report all appear to relate to the 2012 budget. It looks like he sensibly stayed away from the VAT minefield.
Anti-avoidance measures featured heavily in this budget, but were balanced to show that the government is focused on dealing firmly with tax avoidance whilst trying not to scare away foreign investment. There were five pages of anti-avoidance measures in the ninety-four page report, which when you consider that most other measures receive a few paragraphs demonstrates the resolve backing up the government rhetoric.