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, claims the British Independent Retailers Association (bira).
Bira deputy ceo and communications director Michael Weedon said: “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.
“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. Start-ups thrive better with a little help at the outset and seed finance will help them, while doubling Annual Investment Allowance to £500,000 hits one of bira’s aims, as this has consistently encouraged investment and boosted business.”
But he commented that there were several ‘misses’: “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. Also, the Budget missed the chance to set out a firm business rate reform timetable and once again, the Chancellor failed to reinstate the 2015 revaluation.”