There has been a good response, for the most part, from business for Philip Hammond’s second budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr Hammond came forward with many key points, including keeping VAT threshold for small business at £85,000 for at least another two years and £2.8bn in extra funding for the NHS in England. There was also a £3bn fund for Brexit preparations announced.
Various changes are set to hit the housing marking. Stamp duty will be abolished for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000, alongside £44bn in overall government support for housing and further reviews into delays giving planning permission.
Director of Sheffield and Chesterfield-based Redbrik Estate and Lettings agents, Mark Ross, said: “There is nothing better than helping someone to buy their first home and at Redbrik we take great pride in making the process as simple as possible. The abolition of Stamp Duty at this level will make it possible for many more people to afford a home of their own, which is excellent news.
“However, we are disappointed that there was not more support for Landlords and there is not any simplification of the planning process.”
Amii, the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries, were very pleased with the HM Treasuries decision not to increase Insurance Premium Tax (IPT).
Stuart Scullion, Chairman of AMII, said: “From conversations I had prior to the Budget, I understand Philip Hammond has observed the commentary and resistance in relation to recent IPT increases. AMII has positively contributed alongside some of our corporate member firms in this lobbying.
“We are pleased our voice is being heard and we are now calling on the Government to commit to stability for IPT in relation to healthcare during this Parliament, by freezing the rate of IPT on healthcare spend.”
Mr Hammond also pledged a focus on the Northern Powerhouse, with half of the new £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund to be shared by the six areas with elected metro mayors.
However, Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, was not so enthusiastic about the Sheffield city region missing out: “His backing for the Northern Powerhouse aims to give the government ‘firepower’ to deliver on local priorities, but it’s a reminder of just how much our city region is being penalised by not pushing forward on devolution and not having a mayor.
“The figure of how much we may have got in terms of investment is unknown – but our lack of progress means we will certainly lack that ‘firepower’ in terms of spending.”