The Plan for Jobs – what was missed?
The downgrading of the speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer from mini-budget to what was termed by HM Treasury as a “moment” probably always meant that the announcements have been very much more limited than one would expect from a conventional budget and clearly restricted to measures aimed at helping to restart the UK economy.
Rishi Sunak's recent announcements comes at a cost to the country of up to £30bn and will assist particularly the Leisure and Construction sectors through the reduced rate of VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attraction businesses, the eat or to help out scheme, the green homes grant and the temporary reduction in SDLT, however, it was noticeable that other sectors gravely impacted by the covid-19 pandemic appear to have been left out in the cold: rumours of a car-scrappage scheme to aid the move to green technology would appear to have come to nothing and there appears to have been no assistance for airlines, for example through changes to air passenger duty.
It was widely thought that the febrile nature of the economy was such that today would not be a day for announced tax rises and this was indeed the case, however, speculation remains rife that Inheritance Tax is still within the spotlight for an overhaul particularly following the January 2020 report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Inheritance & Intergenerational Fairness. Inheritance Tax has broadly retained the current format since 1986 and whilst it raises comparatively little revenue, it could well be, in an environment where ultimately taxes will have to rise, reform of Inheritance Tax, perhaps to extend to wealth taxation generally, may not be far away.
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