Business leaders from across Swindon gathered at a joint event hosted by Optimum Professional Services and local bank Handelsbanken, to watch the Budget and discover what its impact might be for their companies.
Paul Brown, Corporate Manager at Handelsbanken Swindon, and Richard Mathews, CEO of Optimum, hosted the event at The County Ground. Before proceedings started, they talked about what Chancellor Philip Hammond might deliver, and afterwards reflected on what measures he had announced.
Richard, with colleagues Jon Lacey and Mary Hoffman, predicted announcements on the VAT threshold, Stamp Duty Land Tax for second homes, Inheritance Tax and pensions.
In the end, Mr Hammond surprised the watching audience as much by what he didn’t talk about as what he did talk about. More here on the Budget’s key announcements.
Of the Budget, Richard said: “Good news for small businesses that the VAT registration threshold was frozen, but this is only for two years, which suggests that it will be lowered at some stage. There were one or two pieces of welcome news, for example investment in electric vehicles and the well documented plastic tax. It was pleasing to hear Mr Hammond talk about SMEs as an important part of the economy.”
Mary Hoffman, Optimum’s Director of Legal Services, welcomed the news that Stamp Duty Land Tax will be removed for first-time buyers and said plans to kickstart house building and construction would be good for the economy as a whole.