Leading accountancy industry group, ICAEW has suggested the Chancellor to leave UK businesses alone in next week’s Autumn Statement, giving them time to act upon the major changes announced in the post-election Budget in July this year.
A survey of its 500 accountant members found that 20% felt the measures announced in the Summer Budget were having a damaging effect on businesses, while 32% expect the policies to be positive overall, and 44% forecasted no change.
A huge number of accountants were concerned about the introduction of new policies, with 56% believing the increase in Insurance Premium Tax has a negative effect, while 28% saying that the introduction of the national living wage is bad for business as it doesn’t bring any benefits.
Larger businesses could be hit with an apprenticeship levy, expected to come into force in April 2017. However, a separate poll of ICAEW-member accountants found that only 12% of the respondents felt this would have a damaging impact.
Commenting on the findings, ICAEW Director of Business, Stephen Ibbotson, said, “The Chancellor should be wary of introducing additional measures which will impact on business. UK plc is already concerned about the introduction of the Living Wage, Apprenticeship Levy and increase in Insurance Premium Tax, not all of which have yet come into effect.”
Including the launch of help-to-buy ISAs, accountants are bracing for the combined Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review to touch on tax credits reforms, review of the business rate system, pensions, tax avoidance, apprenticeship levy and housing.
Ibbotson added that majority of the accountants that responded to the survey did not believe that the future reduction in Corporation Tax can fully offset the effect of the measures announced in July.