Wednesday, March 18, 2015

News: Budget representations made

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Business groups and membership organisations have put forward representations on what they'd like to see in today's Budget.

HM Treasury welcomes representations as part of the policy-making process and interest groups, individuals or representative bodies submit them with the aim of commenting on government policy and suggesting new policy ideas for inclusion in the Budget or Autumn Statement.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is urging the government to back long-term business investment, by introducing a permanent Annual Investment Allowance of £500,000.

Britain's manufacturers are pressing the Chancellor to use the last Budget of this Parliament to focus on measures which will continue to have a measurable impact on sustaining and underpinning support for economic growth.

Among a series of measures, The Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), the UK trade organisation dedicated to the future of manufacturing, is calling for the compensation package for energy intensive industries to be brought forward to offset the crippling cost of energy which is a competitive threat and is undermining industries such as steel-making in the UK. The Department for Business has indicated that approval for such a measure under state aid rules from Brussels could come as early as September.

In last year's Budget, the government accepted the need to compensate energy intensive industries and announced plans to extend the compensation for the cost of the Carbon Price Floor (CPF) (a carbon tax) and EU emissions trading system to 2019-20. It is also set to introduce a new compensation scheme, to help energy intensive industries with higher electricity costs resulting from the renewables obligation and small-scale feed in tariffs for renewable generation, from 2016-17.

The EEF, which has offices in Rotherham, is also seeking support from the Chancellor for a scheme that puts employers in the driving seat in the training and funding of apprenticeships and calling for an extension of the Annual Investment Allowance as part of a wider review of capital allowances, together with measures to encourage more companies, especially SMEs, to make use of research and development tax credits.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the UK's largest business organisation representing around 200,000 small businesses, has called on the Chancellor to focus on delivering further supply side reforms, building on initiatives already underway.

The FSB highlighted taking forward tax simplification measures, improved broadband delivery and increased transparency and accountability for LEPs, as well as prioritising the opening up of Government procurement by fast tracking the delivery of the Lord Young reforms so that businesses see the benefits.

The issues of business rates is continually raised with the Government announced further details this week of "the most-wide ranging review of national business rates in a generation."

HM Treasury website

Images: HM Treasury

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