Spring statement: ‘missed opportunity’ to boost business and consumers

Date published: 13 March 2018

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, Head of Tax at ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), says the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spring Statement was disappointing.

He added: “While the refusal to treat the statement as a mini-budget has many benefits, the climate of uncertainty requires some bold economic policy.

“It was disappointing that Philip Hammond missed the opportunity to bring forward increases in the personal allowance and basic rate band, to pass on savings to stretched taxpayers.

“It might be time for government to look towards an NHS tax. Gordon Brown’s attempts to use NICs increases for similar funding only further complicated the system. Yet to avoid the mistakes of the past, government should consider full hypothecation: with robust ring-fencing and transparency on how the revenue is being spent.

“At the same time, government should exercise careful judgement when it comes to potential tax changes on digital businesses. Measures aimed at tackling perceived tax avoidance by the Big Tech firms could easily impact on much smaller digital firms’ competitiveness and investment.

"Any effective digital taxation system must be built on a multi-lateral framework and align with the latest OECD work on the digital economy.” 

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