When the Chancellor originally announced that he was moving the Budget from the Spring to the Autumn, he caused an element of amusement by stating that he would still be making a Spring statement because he was required by Parliamentary rules to do so. However this first statement that the Chancellor has made under the new regime was the minimum that he could have done whilst still complying with that requirement. The Chancellor announced a small number of consultations and an even smaller number of actual measures. On the whole both the consultations and the measures themselves were relatively small beer with the Chancellor keeping his options clear until the Autumn Budget.
In the measures that were announced the Chancellor in an effort to be “fairer” has announced that the value on which business rates are assessed will be done every three years as opposed to the longer period that is now being used. I am sure that it is fairness that motivated this decision not the fact that as property valuations rise doing the revaluation more frequently will bring in higher revenues.
He announced consultations to tackle two areas of tax “black holes” being cash sales and internet sales. He also announced consultation on how to collect VAT in relation to internet sales.
On a positive note the Chancellor also announced consultations in relation to dealing with the cost hurdle that occurs when an unregistered trader has to register for VAT although the proposals that he has suggested do very little and we at Wilds will be making alternative proposals to him.
Of course no speech by the Chancellor would be complete without talking about everybody’s favorite subject, that of the issue of avoidable plastic waste, although what that has to do with tax is beyond me. I remember as a child our fizzy drinks were delivered in glass bottles and the following week the bottles were returned to the delivery man and we obtained a small refund in respect of these bottles. Perhaps the Chancellor could install a bottle bank outside his residence at 11 Downing Street and that each time a person returns a plastic bottle, they will be given a note giving them a 0.1% tax credit, I am sure that this would prove to be very popular.