16th November 2022UK businesses crave certainty ahead of Autumn Statement

The chancellor Jeremy Hunt is planning a series of stealth tax rises, among other tax rises and spending cuts, that will force small businesses to pay thousands more in VAT. Although full details remain unclear until tomorrow’s Autumn Statement, businesses are worried about their future and wondering how changes will impact them

Toby Ryland, Corporate Tax Partner at accountancy firm HW Fisher, outline what the Chancellor would need to announce to better support UK businesses:

“Businesses have experienced so much uncertainty over the past few months that has prevented them from being able to plan properly. Major U-turns on corporation tax and National Insurance Contributions has created a great deal of confusion.

In tomorrow’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor must send out a clear, firm message regarding tax rates from which no deviation will be allowed – across VAT, corporation tax, and National Insurance Contributions – so that businesses can properly budget and plan for the future.”

Businesses need support from spiralling wage inflation and interest rates

“We are expecting the Chancellor to announce a series of stealth tax rises – with the freezing of tax thresholds pushing more people into higher tax rates, which will mean less net income to meet mortgage payments. This will inevitably result in demands from employees for higher wages – which continues to put strain on businesses that are already struggling with increased costs for goods and materials as well as energy costs. We need to see a coherent plan for how the jobs vacancy gap will be filled and how interest rates are to be controlled.”

Incentivise people to plan for their own futures

“We are constantly being warned of a future pensions crisis due to the UK’s ageing population, whilst also seeing a series of restrictions placed on people wanting to save into their pensions, and continual changes to the rules on how and when pensions can be drawn.

This overcomplication and uncertainty is a real disincentive to pension saving – and this will only lead to significant difficulties for the country in the long-term. A clear message that pension saving is to be supported and that the rules will be clear and consistent would be a positive move from the government.

The Chancellor has an unenviable task, but if he can be clear and consistent about the future direction of tax and economic policy, this would go a long way to stabilising the future of the UK business landscape, and give businesses the confidence and the support they need to navigate through the difficult times that lay ahead.”

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