What do I think of the 2020 budget?

March 12, 2020

As you know, yesterday on the 11th of March 2020, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed the budget.

Interesting budget. Not what we’ve usually come to expect from the Conservatives. One left-of-centre media channel described it as “a £30bn stimulus package designed to demonstrate that the age of austerity is well and truly over” (The Guardian). It seems this government is thinking of people in the Midlands and North who ‘lent’ them their votes last December.

Okay, here are a few thoughts on key things in the budget.

Good things about the 2020 Budget

Statutory Sick Pay – Some people are unaware that employers actually pay this. It’s good to see that the government will now reimburse small employers. This will have a positive impact on small businesses looking to invest and grow.

Time to pay – Increasing resources at the HMRC department that negotiates time to pay arrangements can only be a good thing.

Increase in the National Insurance contributions threshold from £8,632 to £9,500. It’s a good way to remove some of our lowest paid workers from this tax. And it will put more money in the pockets of 31 million people in the UK.

The removal of VAT on women’s sanitary products has been a long time coming. Millions of women and families will benefit.

VAT on e-books abolished. This has been needed for a while; e-books are much more environmentally friendly, yet they were taxed differently to ‘traditional’, physical books. This will give a much-needed boost to the publishing industry. Oh, and a cracking joke in the speech about John McDonnell too!

Employment Allowance up £1k. A very welcome tax break for small employers.

Bad things about the 2020 Budget

Something I didn’t like though was the reduction of Entrepreneurs’ Relief – down to £1m from £10m. Many business owners have been growing their businesses based on the £10M relief amount. Its effective removal – with little warning – is pretty unfair if you’ve been planning an exit for 10 years based on your net position.

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