PwC Northern Ireland comments on mini-budget

  • Members of PwC Northern Ireland have commented on the mini-budget plan that was announced today (23 September.)

    Commenting on what today’s announcements mean for the NI economy, David Armstrong, consulting partner and Government & Health Industries leader for PwC Northern Ireland, said: “Today the Government released its new Growth Plan. The Chancellor’s main gamble is that his announcement will boost short-term growth and raise the trend growth rate to 2.5% per year. It will also address some of the short-term pains caused by rising inflation.”

    “In the longer-term, we need to remain focused on accelerating future productivity growth in NI. This can be achieved through investment in a broad range of skills, and in particular, skills in the sectors we know are growing and can shape a stronger future for NI, such as green jobs and the priority clusters outlined in the ‘10x Economy’ vision, such as cybersecurity, AI and robotics.

    “The issues and opportunities are complex, and no one organisation can tackle them successfully on their own. Rather, the business community needs to work alongside government and other stakeholders to drive sustainable change through meaningful collaboration.”

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    Commenting on what today’s announcements mean for individuals and businesses in NI, Cara Haffey, partner and Private Business leader for PwC Northern Ireland, said: “The Chancellor announced a range of measures today designed to boost economic growth. They set out a fundamental change of direction with echoes of an approach not seen since the 1980s. The Chancellor has been clear that the government’s focus is first and foremost on measures aimed to stimulate growth leading to what is a radical set of tax measures for any budget - let alone a mini one. Those looking for stability will be comforted by the fact that many of the tax changes will be permanent, however the Chancellor was also clear that more reforms will follow - so all eyes will be on the Autumn Budget. 

    “On tax policy, almost all of the announced policies cut taxes on workers and businesses. For businesses, the scrapping of the planned rise in corporation tax will be welcomed. Capital intensive businesses, including manufacturers, will welcome the annual investment allowance being made permanent at £1m.

    “For workers, the long-trailed reversal on the national insurance rise for individuals and businesses and cutting the basic rate of income tax next year, alongside the energy bills support payment, home heating oil payment and energy price cap, will go some way to alleviate the rising cost of living. The stamp duty land land tax cut announced for England and Northern Ireland will help to stimulate additional demand and make it easier for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

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    “It was made clear that the Government sees Regional Growth as a key priority as they provided some further detail on their planned Investment Zones, which are designed to drive growth and unlock housing by lowering taxes and liberalising planning frameworks to encourage rapid development and business investment. Close to 40 have been announced in England, so more detail on how this will be delivered in Northern Ireland will be welcomed.

    “Looking to the retail and hospitality sector, many were hoping for an announcement on VAT and business rates today. Although the alcohol duty freeze will be welcome to the hospitality industry, as they seek support to face challenges from more cautious consumer spending, ongoing staffing challenges and inflation across their cost base.”

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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