Local entrepreneurs speak out on Budget wishes
Posted Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 by Neil Edwards
With the Budget just around the corner (Wednesday 23 March), we canvassed some of our clients a mixture of business owners and professionals for their Budget wishes.
Understandably in this climate, our clients have a number of concerns covering not only business issues, but also worries about the NHS, for instance, and our ageing population.
Martin Pollins, managing director of Bizezia in Haywards Heath says: We need tax relief on private medical insurance premiums, which will help the overburdened NHS.
Richard Bamford, key account director with Citrus Healthcare Consulting in Hildenborough agrees that the government needs to introduce measures to reduce the financial pressures placed on the NHS.
Individuals who take out private medical insurance should be encouraged and rewarded for taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing, therefore reducing the cost burden placed on the NHS, he says. The constant advancements in medical treatment come at a price, with more money needing to be pumped into the NHS for it to cope with these costs. People should be given a tax break to help pay for their private medical insurance, especially pensioners. If the government wants the NHS to be sustainable in the future, bold decisions need to be made.
If people are lucky enough to remain fit and well and outside of medical system as they head towards retirement old age itself brings with it more than enough to worry about. Michele Pearson, wealth adviser with iMAP Your Finances in Cuckfield, would like to see a simplification of the pension laws.
People want to know what they can expect at retirement, regardless of their savings, she says. If you want people to invest now to make their future in retirement better, then you need to give them certainly for them to build on.
Martin adds: Abandon the minor allowances for the elderly, such as winterfuel payments, and combine them into an increased basic pension it will save money on administration costs and put the level of UK pensions closer to those in other countries. Also for the retired population, I would like to see better interest rates on savings, or no tax on savings, lower taxes or no taxes on state and other privately-funded annuities.
When it comes to saving, Michele says that personal investors want better returns from their savings. She adds: The government can help by providing more tax-free havens we haven’t seen a TESSA account for years and why not extend the ISA limits further?
Kieron Robertson, an estate planner and independent financial adviser with Valiant Financial Consultants in Tunbridge Wells, says that it would be good to see more done to encourage people to save both in the short-term and beyond.
It would be good to see a reduction in Capital Gains Tax for those with assets held over periods of say, more than five years and more to encourage savings towards retirement, he explains.
Richard Holme, a partner with Creaseys in Tunbridge Wells, wants George Osborne to ‘leave Capital Gains Tax alone or perhaps look to reduce the main 28% rate slightly. He adds: Above all, retain the 10% rate for sales of businesses (entrepreneur relief) in order to encourage entrepreneurs to invest to assist in the continuing recovery of the UK economy.
We and our clients - are united in wanting to see more done to stimulate business investment and offer companies support.
George Osborne must fulfil his promise to centre the Budget on entrepreneurialism and business growth, says Neil Edwards from The Marketing Eye. Getting people back to work and safeguarding the liquidity of small businesses is the priority. Offering rewards and incentives to businesses to employ people by offering relief from employers’ NI or rebates on previous years’ corporation tax will take the risk out of new hires for small businesses and get consumers spending again.
Chris Winning from The Winning Partnership in Tunbridge Wells says that there need to be tax incentives for Research & Development.
We need to ‘kick start’ the economy again and, more importantly, help businesses to recover from years of depression, he says. They need assistance with R&D to give them a chance to be innovative, create new income streams and boost the bottom line profit.
He’d also like the 50% tax rate to be abolished, as he feels it is discouraging entrepreneurship.
Much wasted time was spent preparing for this incredible leap upwards, says Chris. For the costs involved and fees paid to advisors, I would have thought more cost effective methods of collecting taxes from a larger proportion of the population would have been better employed.
Adds Nick Green, branch manager from Handelsbanken in Tunbridge Wells: There are many ways that businesses can be supported, such as reducing red tape, incentivising local government to speed up the planning process, simplifying the corporate tax regime and looking to reduce the 50p income tax rate to encourage entrepreneurship and spending.
Finally, a major worry to everyone is the price of fuel.
The price of fuel is reaching crisis proportions and is rapidly becoming an inhibitor to business growth. Steps need to be taken to bring fuel prices down or at least cap them at where they are, says Neil Edwards.
Adds Nick Green: Individuals’ spending power is being eroded through inflationary pressures, due to increasing food, commodity and oil prices. With the rising price of oil, the government is already benefiting from additional ‘tax take’ and while the additional fuel duty levy was built into their calculations for reducing the UK debt burden, the impact on individuals and business is becoming increasingly apparent and, therefore, I would like to see this potential further imminent rise in fuel duty deferred or scrapped.
Finally, Richard Holme is hoping for a quiet Budget.
Please no tinkering with the tax system unless absolutely necessary we already have over 12,000 pages of tax law, he says. It would be good to have a Budget one year which makes no tax changes at all!
Looking ahead, at The Marketing Eye, we are remaining upbeat. Neil says: We are countering uncertainties around growth, inflation and interest rates by maintaining our marketing to build our brand and keep in touch with the evolving needs of our clients. Businesses that have the courage to continue marketing will survive and prosper when growth returns to the economy in the latter part of the year.
What are your pre-Budget wishes? Do you agree with our commentators? Let us know.
Posted Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 by Neil Edwards
Other Articles In This Category
- End of the recession? It's barely half-time
Neil Edwards, Managing Director of The Marketing Eye, looks ahead to the Budget on 20 March and calls for measures that deliver hope and confidence above all... read more
8th of March 2013 by Neil Edwards
- Feeling the pulse of business confidence
The recent news that the UK economy is in a double-dip recession makes dismal reading. The Prime Minister described the figures as ‘very very... read more
9th of May 2012 by Neil Edwards
- Our clients share their views on Budget 2012
At The Marketing Eye, we always enjoy gathering our clients' reactions to the Budget when it is announced. With a broad range of clients to call upon, our... read more
21st of March 2012 by Neil Edwards
- Autumn Statement Blues
George Osborne's Autumn Statement served up few surprises and gave professionals and business owners alike very little to be cheery about. We asked a selection... read more
30th of November 2011 by Neil Edwards
- Local SME's should not be bowed by global events
August was a pretty challenging month for the global economy with the Sovereign debt crisis impacting on the Eurozone, the US credit rating being downgraded... read more
3rd of September 2011 by Angela Ward
- Stick or Twist? Where next for interest rates?
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee recently announced that UK interest rates are being kept at the record low of 0.5%. This is the 27th straight... read more
16th of June 2011 by Neil Edwards
- So, how was it for you? Reactions from local businesses to George Osborne's latest Budget.
So how was it for you? Angela Ward, Manager, PR Services with The Marketing Eye, interviewed a number of local businesses and professional advisers to gauge their... read more
23rd of March 2011 by Neil Edwards
- For business' sake - interest rates must stay low
With inflation at 3.7%, why is everybody starting to advocate increasing interest rates?The inflation in the economy is cost-push, not demand-pull. Simply put,... read more
18th of January 2011 by Neil Edwards
- Osborne navigates the South East economy across thin ice
Chancellor George Osborne was optimistic in his update to MPs on the health of the UK economy during his autumn statement today, but life is likely to remain... read more
29th of November 2010 by Neil Edwards
- Woolies to expand
In an update to our post of February 2009 about the re-launch of Woolworths, it was interesting to read in Retail Week this week that Woolworths.co.uk has... read more
7th of July 2010 by Neil Edwards
- Time to decide
So, after what seems like months of campaigning it is now decision time.The Conservatives have the clearest and most favourable policies for business and if my vote... read more
5th of May 2010 by Neil Edwards
- Are Tories taking the high ground in battle for business votes?
At long last, I've had a reply from the Conservatives - a comprehensive and persuasive reply at that. The question is, do we believe there are £6bn of... read more
8th of April 2010 by Neil Edwards
- A budget for business?
For the last few months I have been engaged in a simple, yet seemingly naive quest to get some clarity from each of the political parties on their policies for... read more
24th of March 2010 by Neil Edwards
- Which way to vote? Finding the party for small business.
I am a floating voter.I can’t ever recall having been so interested in the outcome of an election and my vote is there for the taking by the party that can... read more
21st of February 2010 by Neil Edwards
- Cut to grow - a plea to politicians on behalf of small businesses
With the growth of our business being at the top of my agenda, I find myself paying closer attention than ever to the political situation. Like England's... read more
3rd of October 2009 by Neil Edwards
- Reasons to be Cheerful - Part 1
'Tis a brave man indeed that calls the bottom of the market. Surfing through the week's headlines we have seen: Rate of decline in UK commercial... read more
9th of May 2009 by Neil Edwards
- Not a recession, it's the new normal
According to Sir John Gieve, the outgoing Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Britain is at risk of being in recession for the next 10 years.That being the... read more
24th of February 2009 by Neil Edwards
- Cut VAT? Will somebody please explain
So, the great white hope is a cut in the rate of VAT.Forgive me, but aren't prices set according to supply and demand (or has the free market gone for ever... read more
25th of November 2008 by Neil Edwards
- How will you survive or thrive in the recession?
The latest blog is a guest post from friend of The Marketing Eye, Sharon Wilding.It seems that everyone, including the Prime Minister, now agrees that the UK is in... read more
28th of October 2008 by Neil Edwards
We have a number of clients that trade internationally and we are, of course, all interested in what is likely to happen in the UK. We helped our clients, Creaseys,... read more
24th of October 2008 by Neil Edwards
- Doom and Bloom
Yesterday, we were at an economic briefing given by Tom Vosa, Head of Market Economics UK at National Australia Bank. His commentary was both enlightening and... read more
7th of October 2008 by Neil Edwards