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Hit and miss of Budget 2014
Bira comments on this week's Budget announcements.

By Isabella Griffiths

20 March 2014

The British Independent Retailer Association has issued its analysis of this week's Budget announcements, outlining the hit and misses and the affects on UK businesses.

In a statement, Michael Weedon, deputy CEO and communications director, says, “The Chancellor has taken aim at strengthening the recovery, guided by some encouraging economic figures, and has hit a number of targets, but missed a few of the important ones:
  • Hit: The cost of living is still rising faster than incomes, and Bira wanted to see further progress on extending personal allowances but without the government cranking down the higher rate tax threshold again. Both were announced.
  • Hit: Fuel duty hikes hit consumers and businesses alike and September's increase would have placed more pressure on disposable incomes. The Chancellor has frozen this and Bira welcomes the decision.
  • Hit: Help to Buy scheme to be extended to the end of the decade. Targeted assistance specifically for new house building addresses the shortage of homes and helps drive recovery.
  • Hit: Start-ups thrive better with a little help at the outset and seed finance will help them.
  • Hit: Doubling Annual Investment Allowance to £500,000 hits one of Bira’s aims as this has consistently encouraged investment and boosted business.
  • Miss: There was some extension of business-rate discounts but this just emphasises that the problem remains to be solved. The Chancellor missed chances to simply make them permanent pending reform.
  • Miss: The Budget missed the chance to set out a firm business rate reform timetable.
  • Miss: Once again the Chancellor failed to reinstate the 2015 revaluation.
  • Miss: Cutting corners on the currency. Three per cent of pound coins may be counterfeit, but all of it goes through the tills, counting systems and vending machines of shops. As with polymer notes there has been no cost-benefit analysis of the new notes and coins and the result will be that retail will have to stump up hundreds of millions to cope with the changes.”
 
For more information visit www.bira.co.uk.


 
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