Budget preview:  “The Chancellor is facing a fine balancing act”

As the Chancellor prepares to deliver his Budget later today, Inspire Director, Chris Downing, offers his Budget preview with views of what’s likely to be included – and what would help businesses most right now.

“The Chancellor is facing a fine balancing act; we all know that we will have to pay back the support that has been given over the last 12 months, but he can only ask for those repayments to begin when the economy is in a strong enough position to do so.  I believe that today’s Budget will be about scene-setting, levelling with the general public about what’s to come, but perhaps not announcing any significant package of tax rises with immediate effect.

“We know that there will be support for those sectors hardest hit by the pandemic; re-start grants for businesses in retail, hospitality and a boost for the arts, but also the slightly surprising confirmation yesterday that support for furloughed workers is set to be extended until the end of September – three months after the PM’s roadmap indicating that the country should be finally operating once again without Covid restrictions.  The end of the furlough scheme will be a key marker that the UK economy is open and people can have confidence to re-start, invest and grow their businesses again.

“I hope that the Corporation Tax rises that have been talked about are not implemented immediately; businesses need to be on a sound footing before they can afford higher taxes, and I don’t think we’re there yet.

“I’d also like to see the Chancellor set out measures to encourage entrepreneurship. The small business sector is so important to the economy, giving these business owners the platform to move forwards and grow their business is vital to our recovery.”

We will, of course, bring you all the latest from the Budget – and don’t forgot to join us for our Budget Update webinar and Q&A on Friday at 11am.

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