DTM Legal make their predictions on this week’s Budget

Ahead of George Osborne revealing the 2016 UK Budget on Wednesday, Philip Whitehurst, partner at North West law firm DTM Legal, has commented on the potential ramifications of the announcements.

Outlining the possible impact Mr Osborne’s plans will have on businesses and the public alike, below are the highlights of Mr Whitehurst’s recent commentary.

“The Chancellor’s room for manoeuvre in Wednesday’s budget is limited. Concerns about not upsetting the electorate and forcing them into the arms of the Brexit campaign may mitigate against more austere plans he may have hatched and electoral promises about not raising income tax rates, National Insurance or VAT will further restrict him.

“A budget to assist business, particularly SMEs, should contain several measures. Simplification of the tax system, a freezing of business rates and action on the promise to provide business with a corporate taxes roadmap to allow planning for the future would all be welcome. We also need a personal tax regime that encourages work growth and entrepreneurship, including the retention of entrepreneurs’ relief and raising the income tax threshold so that those on minimum wage are out of the tax system altogether.

“However, with what economists predict is a £17bn shortfall on where he expected the public finances would be, we should all brace ourselves for some bad news including potential increases to fuel duty, taking advantage of the current low oil prices, and company car and road tax. I’d also expect to see announcements over the sale of the government’s stakes in Lloyds and RBS.

“And finally… following Prime Minister’s Questions in January, in which the Government said it wanted suggestions from the public about what they wanted to see in the Budget, it will be interesting to see if Mr Osborne references anything put forward”.

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