L to R: Paul Gibson, Steve Dunn, Jonathan Lamb

Member Article

Budget 2020: North East business leaders respond to the first budget of the decade

MP for Richmond and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his first budget on 11 March, with positive news for many.

Although the coronavirus was at the forefront of everyone’s minds, North East business leaders have reacted to all aspects of the budget, with particular focus on pensions, northern investment and the reformation of entrepreneurs’ relief.

Paul Gibson, director and chartered financial planner at Active Chartered Financial Planners in Stockton, said:

“The Coronavirus and government plans to tackle day to day life correctly opened the budget today.

“It was certainly reassuring that the government will look to assist in these times of uncertainty with ‘working capital loans’, cash grants for the smallest businesses and assisting sectors that will suffer with removal of business rates.

“It appears for my industry - advising in the areas of pensions and investments very little was changed which can be seen as a good thing. We have a small benefit to high earners and tapered annual allowance which should help those in the public sector i.e. medical profession and it will be interesting to see how this will all work.”

Steve Dunn, compliance director at Commercial Maintenance Services (CMS), said:

“It was nice to see a northern slant on the budget. I was expecting to see just a coronavirus budget and not a great deal else, but it was nice to see the acknowledgement that the country has to move forward, and we have to build a future. Coronavirus will happen but it’s only temporary. We’ve got a country to run forever.”

Jonathan Lamb, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, welcomed the chancellor’s recognition of the role played by start-up and scale-up businesses in a successful economy.

“I welcome the decision to reform rather than scrap the entrepreneurs’ relief, which remains an important incentive for those who take the risks in setting up or growing a business.

“Instead the measure – which reduces capital gains tax for those selling their business – will be scaled back from £10m to £1m.

“I also welcome the support for those small and medium enterprises affected by coronavirus, with the government’s guarantee to fund two weeks’ statutory sick pay for businesses with less than 250 employees.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by News Gathering.

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