Spring Budget: economy running on empty means no relief for families or businesses

According to Ross Boyd, the founder and director of chartered accountancy RBCA, Jeremy Hunt is set to announce a budget of headlines whilst single parents and middle-income families in Northern Ireland continue to be penalised by an outdated child benefit system.

Spring Budget

Ross explains, “The child benefit rule, which means a single parent earning £50,000 a year has to pay back some benefit whilst a couple who earn £49,000 each do not, is penalising hard working families.  The Chancellor has already admitted it is ‘unfair’ following a concerted campaign to rectify the distorted rules by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis.

“The truth is – he simply can’t afford to change the child benefit charges because after years of budgetary mismanagement the Treasury has very little room for manoeuvre.  As the UK enters recession Hunt will hope he can divert attention from a stagnating economy by appealing to first-time buyers with a proposed 99 per cent mortgage scheme.

“The scheme would potentially allow first-time buyers to put down a 1 per cent deposit, with the government acting as a loan backer, with the aim of providing much needed stimulus to people hoping to get onto the property ladder.”

Ross highlights that the local business community is not likely to be impressed by this week’s announcement. He says, “Hunt will seek headlines – and in doing so will ignore hard working families and owner-managed businesses in Northern Ireland, pushing them closer to the brink.

“Local businesses will likely receive no relief after years of having to cope with an increasing tax burden. Corporation tax, an increase in national insurance contributions, and increasing employment costs, will continue to pile pressure onto many businesses – a huge number of which will be pushed to the point of insolvency.”

Whilst families and businesses will continue to feel the pinch, Ross explains some changes are expected where vapes are concerned.

“Mr Hunt is also considering a “vaping products levy” in an attempt to make the habit unaffordable for children, which aligns with the Prime Minister’s vision for a smokefree generation. The tax will be specifically on the liquid in vapes, with higher duties for products with more nicotine.”

For business advice and supports visit rbca.co

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