Chancellor must boost business growth, says financial expert Matthew Lee
THE Chancellor must do things to boost business growth as he announces his Budget today, says financial expert Matthew Lee.
Mr Lee, managing partner at accountancy firm Bishop Fleming, which has its Plymouth base in Mayflower Street, has a 10-point wish list for Mr Osborne. It includes:
All employers should be exempt from National Insurance payments for the first year to encourage jobs.
Tax relief on private medical insurance should be re-introduced to lift a cost burden from the NHS.
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The South West should benefit from a fuel-duty stabiliser.
Scrap universal benefits for the elderly but boost basic state pensions.
Remove stamp duty on property purchases for a year to boost the construction sector.
Exempt building work from VAT for a year.
Make personal allowances and tax-bands transferable between husband and wife.
Increase the tax-free lump sum available on retirement to 50 per cent of funds to encourage people to save.
Scrap the earnings cap for family allowance, but remove the allowance for babies born from now on.
Commit to spending on infrastructure investment, even if this means extra borrowing at miniscule interest.
"George Osborne is in a cleft-stick: he has nailed his colours to an austerity mast, but he still has the scope to make a real difference for South West businesses," said Mr Lee.
"I accept Mr Osborne is faced with a massive political challenge. He will be reluctant to accept his policy is failing, so will look for every reason to make no change: but the reality is he must make some changes if he has any hope of re-invigorating the economy."