Autumn Statement 2016: wishes sent to the chancellor

A fillip for the economy at Autumn Statement 2016 is the unifying wish of three separate trade groups.

The IoD, for company directors, wants the chancellor to “boost investment;” the REC, for recruiters, wants him to unveil a "fiscal stimulus” and IPSE, for contractors, wants to see him financially “support” its member businesses.

When the Autumn Statement wishlist of an accountancy firm is included, the next most popular plea to Philip Hammond (after a stimulus) is to simplify taxation, followed by the reform of tax-friendly business investment schemes.

While all the trade groups will likely support any streamlining of the tax system on November 23rd, it is the Institute of Directors (IoD) which spelt out how doing so might create the sought-after fiscal stimulus.

"In the medium-term, drastically simplifying the tax system for small and medium-sized firms will make it much easier for them to grow and create jobs,” said the institute’s chief economist James Sproule.

Sounding sympathetic to this call is Nick Paterno, managing director of McBrides Chartered Accountants, who says Mr Hammond should “simplify VAT” in a bid to bring calm to “the madness of the VAT rules.”

“Now that Brexit is on the horizon,” Mr Paterno says, “we will have more choice on our VAT rules; lets simplify things and save businesses millions of pounds in compliance costs.”

He also wants the chancellor to use his first ever Autumn Statement to simplify both the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Seed EIS qualifying rules.

The IoD agrees that tax breaks for enterprise need reviewing, as it wants an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (currently £200,000) to be announced.

Being “poised to step in and provide fiscal stimulus [for] UK businesses” is also what IPSE expects of the chancellor, Lorence Nye, the group’s economic adviser said last week in response to the Bank of England’s decision to hold interest rates.

“If the [economic] picture looks set to worsen,” Mr Nye said, “businesses will be looking to the Autumn Statement for an indication of this support.”

But after the priority measure of a fiscal boost, the REC believes that the next best way Mr Hammond can support business is by keeping the current pipeline of international talent flowing.

“We hope to see fiscal stimulus from the chancellor at the Autumn Statement to help bolster the jobs market,” says REC’s chief executive Kevin Green. “And we call for sensible decisions around any new immigration policy so that businesses can continue to access the people they need.”

Editor's Note: Further Reading on Autumn Statement 2016 -

Hammond warned on Making Tax Digital's timing

Osborne vows to cut corporation tax to 15%

Contractors' IR35 calendar: 2016-2017

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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