In what has, for obvious reasons, been dubbed a Covid-19 budget, new UK Chancellor the Exchequer (the Right Honorable Rishi Sunak MP) promised the highest levels of inward investment for 30 years including a number of initiatives that will help small and medium-sized business such as tyre retailers and garages.
The Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) is seeking urgent confirmation from the Treasury that petrol filling stations (PFS) will be eligible for small business rates relief announced in the Budget. This request comes after some confusion in the 2013 Budget, when the Treasury did not specifically include PFS as one of the eligible business categories. The PRA had to intervene to obtain formal confirmation that, subject to State Aid de minimis limits and the rates threshold, the discount scheme was applicable.
While many have been talking about chancellor of the exchequer the right honourable Phillip Hammond MP’s decision to increase the personal allowance threshold from £11,850 to £12,500 in April 2019, for those of us connected to the automotive and transport industries this year speech is probably best described as a pothole budget. True Hammond has raised personal allowance threshold and has raised the point at which people start paying higher rate tax (40 per cent) to £50,000, but the automotive industry was hoping for much more clarity and even support the wake of a Brexit-fuelled, uncertainty ridden market context.
Measures announced in the Autumn Budget this week to increase the liability of illegal waste site operators have been welcomed by the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA). As of 1 April 2018, sites operating without the relevant environmental disposal permit, and those knowingly facilitating illegal waste disposal, will be liable to pay Landfill Tax and face fines amounting to an additional 100 per cent of the tax’s value. Operators of illegal sites will remain liable to criminal prosecution.
The headline news from chancellor Phillip Hammond’s latest budget is that Stamp duty is to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. Those first-time buyers purchasing properties over this amount won’t pay stamp duty on the first £300,000. However, there was less to say with regards to the automotive industry and business in general.
Nevertheless, the fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars scheduled for April 2018 has been scrapped. At the same time car tax for new diesel cars not meeting latest standards is to rise by one band next year. The good news for businesses reliant on deliveries is that this particular tax hike will not apply to van owners.
Drivers of diesel engine cars are likely to face a hike in fuel price, according to the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA). Chairman Brian Madderson states that the association “has been informed by a well-placed parliamentary source, that the Chancellor is likely to announce a 1ppl increase to fuel duty for all diesel drivers in this week’s Autumn Budget. This would be a thinly disguised tax grab using air quality issues as justification.”
UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond’s spring Budget contained the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) upgraded growth forecasts for 2017, while predicting lower – but rising – figures for the years following the assumed activation of Article 50 as the country leaves the European Union. The government also confirmed an extra £690 million will be added to the £1.3 billion announced in autumn to improve transport networks in urban areas. In other transport news, the freeze on fuel duty has been retained.
Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), has presented UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond with his ‘wishlist’ for next week’s Spring Budget. Top of the list is a request for the Chancellor to do more to encourage motorists to adopt new technologies – rather than penalising motorists driving the ‘wrong’ cars.
There are continuing suggestions from government sources that small businesses, especially those embracing ‘hospitality’, will be given concessions on their business rates liability in the March Budget.
While welcoming chancellor of the exchequer Phillip Hammond’s transport announcements in the 2016 Autumn Statement, KPMG analysts have criticised the focus on increasing capacity, rather than “making more from the capacity” the UK has already.