On Wednesday the Chancellor delivered his first and last Spring Budget. The announcement, which will now move to the autumn, was primarily focused on stabilising the UK economy as it prepares for Brexit negotiations, which are likely to commence in the coming weeks. As such, Philip Hammond’s speech provided little in the way of shocks or significant reform compared to Budgets of recent years.
Nevertheless, there was plenty for the nation’s SMEs, entrepreneurs and investors to consider from the Budget. Some of the more notable reforms and initiatives included:
- £270 million of funding to keep the UK at the forefront of disruptive technology
- £435 million set aside to help SMEs affected by increases in business rates
- The tax-free dividend allowance for company directors and private shareholders to be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000
To find out what the 2017 Spring Budget will mean for SMEs and investors, download IW Capital’s factsheet here.
On the one hand, the decisions to raise National Insurance and cut the dividend allowance could prove harmful for the country’s early stage entrepreneurs – it has unsurprisingly been met with criticism in this field. Conversely, the investments made into infrastructure such as broadband and 5G, as well as R&D funding to boost the country’s disruptive technologies, will have been welcomed by Britain’s globally-renowned innovative industries. Furthermore, the Budget also provided some reassurance to SMEs by addressing the imminent rises in business rates, with new measures unveiled to alleviate this financial burden.
From an investor perspective, there was little in the way of direct policy or reform. However, with the Chancellor making it clear that the new Autumn Budget will become the Government’s standout annual fiscal statement, it is likely that more action will be taken at the end of the year. For the time being, the fact that no further restrictions were placed on vital tax-incentivised investment initiatives such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is itself a positive outcome.
For a full breakdown of the policies unveiled in the Chancellor’s final Spring Budget, join Access 42 – our exclusive SME investor community. Members of Access 42 will have exclusive access to our 2017 Spring Budget Factsheet, along with our full catalogue of industry-leading research reports and our entire portfolio of exciting debt and equity investment opportunities.