A panel of business leaders came together to discuss how the announcements in the Spring Budget from March 8 will impact on Lincolnshire.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has given the country’s final spring budget announcement, which included further crackdowns on tax avoidance and a rise in in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.
The panel of Lincolnshire business representatives included James Pinchbeck, Marketing Partner for Streets Chartered Accountants, Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for Economic Development, Environment, Strategic Planning and Tourism at Lincolnshire County Council, Stav Melides, Greater Lincolnshire & Peterborough National Councillor for the FSB and John Smith, Council Delegate for the National Farmers Union (NFU).
The chancellor focused heavily on trying to provide young people with the ability to leave education with all the skills they need for today’s labour market.
The Federation of Small Businesses was also pleased to hear that small businesses and landlords under the VAT threshold will have an extra year to prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD) and that £435 million will be provided to support businesses affected by the business rates relief revaluation.
Other announcements which benefit Lincolnshire include an investment of £16 million for a new 5G super-fast tech hub and £200 million for local authorities for projects such as fibre broadband.
The county should also benefit from a share of the promised £23 million to be spread across the Midlands at pinch points in the road networks.
Despite Brexit playing heavily on many minds, the subject wasn’t mentioned once throughout the chancellor’s speech.
Stav Melides said: “We are delighted the Chancellor is listening to the small businesses this time. The FSB lobbied him regarding business rates, which he has given us and we believe this is very positive for our region.
“However we are slightly disappointed with the increase in self-employment National Insurance but then he did make concessions on digital tax, which is going to be very positive for Lincolnshire businesses.”
Councillor Davie said: “I think that the budget was an optimistic budget. We particularly welcome the commitment around technical education.
“The skills challenge we have for Lincolnshire is enormous with 200,000 potential jobs over the next years, we need to make sure we have the right people for those.”
John Smith said: “It was a good budget for Lincolnshire. Some of the positives were training as we’re really, really short of technically trained people. The recognition of small business was also really positive.”