The Chancellor today presented his vision to “put the next generation first”, but didn’t sugar-coat the current state of economic growth.
In a Budget focusing on infrastructure, tax changes and personal savings, the Chancellor walked a political minefield, potentially threatened by some on his own side looking to derail his bid for leadership and ambition for the UK to stay in the EU.
Many of the big ticket items had been hailed in advance, but there are other significant points. We take a closer look at the details that have an impact the Real Estate industry.
Trumpeting the battle cry of “Northern Powerhouse”, the Chancellor announced the green light for the HS3 rail line between Manchester and Leeds and proposed a new road tunnel linking Manchester and Sheffield.
In a major boost for London, Crossrail 2 also got the green light.
Flood defence spending has been increased by £700m in a move which is being funded by the Insurance Premium Tax.
George Osborne’s “devolution revolution” continues and he championed new elected mayors in English counties and southern cities, along with those already proposed for Manchester.
The East Anglia Combined Authority was raised as part of the wider devolution plans.
Once again, Osborne affirmed his commitment to devolve Business Rates and phase out the grant to local government.
Business Rates received a major shake-up and 600,000 more small businesses will now pay no business rates. Today’s Budget saw a doubling of Business Rate relief for the smallest businesses from £6,000 to £15,000.
Measures are being introduced to target tax avoidance, including steps to ensure UK tax is paid on UK property.
Corporation tax will fall to 17 per cent by 2020 from its current level of 20 per cent.
Garden towns, cities and villages
Although not mentioned in his speech, perhaps for fear of upsetting Tory allies, the Budget affirmed the government’s commitment to a new wave of garden towns and cities across the county. These have the potential to deliver 100,000 homes and the government will legislate to make it easier for local authorities to work together to deliver these.
It was interesting to note that housing was barely mentioned in this year’s Budget, a point the Opposition were quick to jump on. However, no doubt, the industry will be watching closely as Business Rates change and as local authorities take more control.
For more details, as ever, the Red Book will provide specifics.
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