South west accountancy firm Bishop Fleming has a ten-point wish-list for the Chancellor’s Budget to boost business.
According to managing partner Matthew Lee, George Osborne “is in a cleft-stick”.
He said: “He has nailed his colours to an austerity mast, but he still has the scope to make a real difference for south west businesses in his March Budget.
“I would urge him to consider ten affordable measures for his Budget that will make a real difference to the ability of businesses in the South West to deliver new jobs and boost the economy.”
His ten-point wish-list:
- All employers, not just start-ups, should be exempt from National Insurance payments for the first year to encourage more employment.
- Tax relief on private medical insurance should be re-introduced to lift a cost burden from the NHS.
- The south west should benefit from a fuel-duty stabiliser.
- Scrap all those universal benefits for the elderly – like winter-fuel allowance and free TV licences – to cut administration costs and boost basic state pensions to match those in other EU countries.
- Remove stamp duty on all property purchases for a year to boost the construction sector.
- Exempt all building work from VAT for a year.
- Make personal allowances and tax-bands transferable between husband and wife, so that single-earning households are not penalised.
- Increase the tax-free lump sum available on retirement to 50% of funds to encourage people to save.
- Change family allowance rules by scrapping the earnings cap – but remove it for all babies born from now on.
- Listen to Vince Cable, and commit to spending on infrastructure investment.