Here’s a shopping list for tomorrow’s Budget which should help rural areas to prosper
- Fuel Duty No further rises in fuel duty and the introduction of a ‘stabiliser’ mechanism so that tax levels balance out the effects of volatile oil price changes.
- Extend Empty Property Rate Relief so that owners aren’t penalised by difficulties in finding suitable tenants;
- Cut VAT on construction costs, and on repairs and improvements to property to support the construction industry and ensure that property is properly looked after. This could be tied in to an obligation to implement green measures like improved insulation and other carbon reduction ideas;
- Standstill or reduction in Stamp Duty to encourage stagnant property markets;
- Climate change measures in the form of tax incentives and/or funded proposals;
- Early action on the recommendations of the Office of Tax Simplification, in particular:
- Alignment of Income Tax and National Insurance provisions;
- Simpler Business Test for tax purposes
- Close the gap between Corporation and Personal Taxes for smaller businesses
- And in particular, restoration of the full rate of Initial Investment Allowances, a consistent allowance from one year to another and the ability to average expenditure over more than one year’s allowance
- Well targeted measures to support sustainable food production
- Rational proposals to simplify the planning system without unnecessarily casting planners as villains.
That’s my list for now. Watch tomorrow for what we get.