The Chancellors sixth and final pre-election budget reflects the government’s claims that Britain is now in a time of progress. We have moved from austerity to prosperity, George Osborne described Britain as “walking tall”, “working again” and as the “comeback country”, he highlighted a reduction in the deficit and rise in jobs and overall living standards.
Budget highlights included legislation surrounding; income tax, pensions, capital gains tax, investments, ISA’S and inheritance. The ongoing battle against tax avoidance continues to play a key part and will do in any future government’s deficit reduction plans.
For small and medium-sized businesses, key announcements included an increase in UK Trade and Investment’s resources to double the support for British exporters to China, the scrapping of the annual tax return and class 2 national insurance contributions for the self-employed, and a rise in the national minimum wage to £6.70 this autumn.
Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors comments “Whilst some may have expected more rabbits from the hat, today’s employment figures and the revised OBR [Office for Budget Responsibility] growth forecasts prove there’s definitely something of the Duracell bunny to Britain’s economic recovery. This is a testament to this government’s support for enterprise but, more importantly, it is evidence of the tenacity and resilience of UK businesses….”
The future of the Chancellors plans of course all remain speculative until after 7th May 2015. Time will tell what ideas will take effect from this pre election budget and if we can continue to “walk tall” but we can certainly speculate while we all wait for a post May 2015 Britain.
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