Prime Accountants Group’s Claire Lea says the ‘devil is in the detail’ but local businesses will not have any further tax increases other than those previously announced

A leading Midlands accountancy firm says that businesses across the region can breathe a collective sigh of relief following the government’s latest budget announcement which did not allude to any further tax increases for companies this year.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his third budget in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday), when he unveiled the government’s tax and spending plans for ‘a new economy post-Covid’.

Claire Lea, director at Prime Accountants Group, which has offices in Solihull, Birmingham and Coventry, said that regional businesses are cautiously optimistic at the government’s plans to invest in future growth and support firms still suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

Of the plans set out, businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector will benefit from the 50 per cent discount on business rates; a freeze on fuel duty, £3.8bn investment in skills and further support for research and development.

Claire said: “While much of what was said was to be expected, the increases already announced to corporation tax and the health and social care levy will inevitably burden businesses who have already faced an unbelievably challenging economy over these past 18 months.

“It’s not surprising that many business owners were concerned about tax increases prior to the announcement, especially given the amount they were subject to recently.

Tax relief rates for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries have also been doubled until 2023, potentially saving the sector in the region of £245 million.

Commenting on this, Claire said: “This is an exciting development and we look forward to further detail from the government, especially considering the rich history and credentials of Coventry which led it to be crowned this year’s city of culture.

“Unsurprisingly, green climate change was on the agenda with numerous references to investment relief on green measures and also investment in infrastructure and innovation.

“These are all key pointers that Coventry and Warwickshire are known for, so we will be hoping our region can benefit and will know more when the follow-on detail emerges from government.”

Claire concluded: “The devil is in the detail but we can safely assume that Midlands business owners have some certainty as tax rise announcements had previously been made and the Budget on the face of it contained nothing of great concern, at least for now.”

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