Responses To The Chancellor’s Mini Budget

NI politicians presented with chance to seize powers says FSB

NI politicians presented with chance to seize powers says FSB

FSB NI Policy Chair, Alan Lowry, commented on the announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng.

“With so many small businesses across Northern Ireland operating in survival mode, it is encouraging to see the government giving the green light to a plan which will ease some of the burdens they are facing.

“However, it is deeply disappointing that no moves were made to reduce VAT for the hospitality sector nor cut the cost of road fuel.”

The House of Commons where the Chancellor of Exchequer delivered his mini budget.

“The series of measures announced by the Chancellor will go some way towards helping SMEs tackle the daunting challenges currently before them.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that many of FSB’s calls have been adopted, including the decision to reverse the NICs hikes introduced in April. Reversing all four – employer, employee, self-employed and the dividend equivalent – will help small businesses and the self-employed at a crucial time, as should the changes announced to IR35.”

“The scrapping of the planned hike in Corporation Tax is also a welcome measure which will benefit local companies as well as help in attracting foreign direct investment.

“Similarly, retention of the Additional Investment Allowance at 100% year-one allowance for up to £1million of capital investment is a powerful measure to stimulate growth, as are some of the other investment reliefs announced.”

“However, the prize of highly attractive powers for investment zones in Northern Ireland has been dangled before us but these will only be secured if we have a functioning Executive to seek and deploy them.

“We cannot afford for the local economy to miss out on opportunities because of political stalemate. We therefore continue to urge our local political leaders to overcome the challenges they face and find the means to restore a fully functioning Executive and Assembly.”

“Overall, this fiscal statement is a major change of direction which presents some significant opportunities, but which has delayed or ignored others.

“Our local businesses and our local politicians need to seize all that is made available so we can weather the short-term economic storms and bolster our economy for the longer term.

“They need to do this whilst continuing to press for further measures to assist the hardest hit sectors,” added Alan Lowry.


Murphy Says Chancellor Backs The Rich

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said that the Chancellor’s statement today delivers for the wealthy rather than ordinary workers, families and small businesses.

Speaking following the Chancellor’s statement, Conor Murphy said: “In this cost of living crisis it beggars belief that the Chancellor has chosen to announce tax breaks for the super-wealthy instead of supporting the working poor who are struggling to heat their homes and feed their families.

“What we needed today was a tax break for small businesses struggling with rising costs, and an increase in funding for public services and support for public sector workers who carried us through the pandemic.

“Instead the British Chancellor has announced tax breaks for the super-wealthy and no extra funding for public services.

“While the reversal of the increased National Insurance contributions will provide some relief to businesses the hospitality industry will rightly be extremely disappointed that the Chancellor has not acted to cut VAT. 

“This would have helped many small family-run businesses who are deciding whether they can continue to keep trading.

“Instead the Chancellor chose to abolish the top rate of income tax for those on the highest salaries and removed the cap on banker’s bonuses.

“This will undoubtedly lead many small businesses to close while the rich get richer.”

Minister Murphy continued: “The Chancellor’s statement fails to provide an increase in funding meaning our ability to deliver public services and a fair pay rise for public sector workers will undoubtedly be impacted.

“Combined with the rise in interest rates and the absence of the Executive, the British Government’s statement today means that families, workers and small businesses face a very challenging time in the coming months.”

Minister Murphy concluded: “I spoke to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury this morning. I made the point in the strongest possible terms my dismay at the failure to support those in need, help our smallest businesses and provide additional funding for public services.

“I also highlighted the inadequacy of the home heating oil announcement made earlier this week.”


Retail NI Responds To Chancellor’s Statement

Reacting to the Chancellors statement this morning, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “We welcome that the Government is to reverse the National Insurance increase.

“This will provide some relief to local independent retailers who are struggling with the cost of business crisis.”

“Retail NI will engage with the Secretary of State for NI on how the Investment Zone proposals could apply to Northern Ireland.

“This applies particularly in town and city centres that have high levels of dereliction and are in need of further support.”

”We are disappointed that no funding assistance from Treasury has been allocated to allow a business rates holiday to be introduced locally.

“If we are to stand any chance of saving local High Street businesses and protecting jobs, it is vital that a rates holiday is urgently introduced.”

“Lowering VAT rates should also have been included in this statement, rather than focusing on stamp duty and corporation tax.”

“The UK Government needs to go a lot further in supporting our local high streets and we will continue to press for further measures.”


IoD: Business welcomes commitment to unleash the power of the private sector

Responding to the Chancellor’s statement on the government’s Growth Plan, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “This is a good news day for British business. I

“n a time of low confidence and economic uncertainty, the new Chancellor’s emphasis on going for growth will be very welcome to firms of all sizes across the UK.

“Taken together with the energy bills relief scheme, the package as whole will make it easier for businesses navigating a challenging economic environment in the coming months.

“The reversal of the hike in employers’ national insurance, which we have campaigned for from the outset, is of particular relief, as is the cancellation of the forthcoming corporation tax increase.

“We also welcome the decision to simplify IR35 rules, keep the Annual Investment Allowance at £1m, extend the Enterprise Investment Scheme beyond its sunset clause and streamline the planning process for infrastructure projects.

“The introduction of investment zones, with a lower tax regime including for capital investment is also a welcome innovation, particularly if it channels funding into locations most in need of regeneration.

“However, we are concerned that the Chancellor had not asked the OBR to undertake its usual independent assessment of the impact of its proposals on government debt and the wider macro-economy.

“Without this, neither businesses nor parliament have the reassurance that the scale of this intervention is affordable and so does not jeopardise overall economic stability.

“We were also disappointed that the previous Chancellor’s workstream to use the tax system to incentivise workplace training to address skills shortages appears to have been abandoned.

“Also, we are concerned that there was no mention of making capital investment super-deduction permanent or incentivising smaller businesses to play their part in de-carbonising the economy.”