One of the region’s leading financial companies today welcomed the ‘steady-as-you-go’ approach taken in Jeremy Hunt’s Budget but warned that the cost-of-living crisis was still causing huge issues for families and businesses.
Experts at Q Financial Services say the Budget will maintain the economic stability restored by the Chancellor in the wake of Liz Truss’s short-lived regime.
But Q commercial finance director Steve Parry said the Chancellor could not afford to be complacent about the long-term effects of inflation, high energy prices and raised interest rates.
“There were few major surprises in what the Chancellor had to announce today, with the extension to the domestic energy support scheme trailed well in advance,” said Steve.
“The Government had already set out its intention to focus on stability above all else, so Mr Hunt was left with little room in which to manoeuvre.
“The increase in pensions allowances and annual contributions is certainly welcome, and will avoid the tax trap which is forcing some to retire early rather than face big tax demands once they have left work.
“But we are disappointed he chose to press ahead with the increase in corporation tax to 25 per cent – something which we believe will put the brakes on investment and slow down what little growth there is in the economy. It really disincentivises success and that can never be a good thing.
“In the long-term, inflation must be brought back under control and to levels of two per cent or lower so that businesses and households can budget with certainty. Halving the current rate is certainly welcome as an ambition, but it still means a significant increase in the cost of living and doing business which people can ill-afford.
“And it is also high time the Government acted to free up new land for housing, so that we can offer a realistic chance for younger generations to get on the housing ladder. Serious and long-term reform of planning legislation is long overdue.
“As ever, the devil will lie in the detail and we will be studying the Chancellor’s statement in great detail over the coming days to ensure we offer the most comprehensive advice possible to both our private and commercial clients.”