Spring Budget 2020-Tax analysis

Spring Budget 2020-Tax analysis
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On Wednesday 11 March 2020, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, delivered his first Budget, having held the post for less than a month. It must have been a Budget that was being tweaked right up until the morning of the speech, given the turmoil in which the country finds itself. A month ago, we were expecting Sajid Javid to present his first Budget speech focusing on a long-term post-Brexit economic plan with the benefit, for the first time in a while, of a substantial government majority. However, the impact of Coronavirus loomed large in this Budget, with the first part of the Chancellor’s speech dedicated to the government’s response to the virus, including supporting individuals who cannot work, reliefs from business rates for a wide range of businesses, expanded time to pay arrangements for taxes, and the promise to fund the NHS to deal with the crisis. It is pretty rare to hear a Chancellor promise to provide funding ‘whether it's millions of pounds or billions of pounds…whatever it needs, whatever it costs’ and it is a measure of the seriousness with which the government is tackling the crisis (even if opponents argue that this level of additional funding would not be required if earlier cuts had not been made).

Putting the current public health and consequent economic pressure to one side, the remaining focus of the Budget was on ‘getting it done’, with Mr Sunak’s enthusiasm for this mantra reaching fever pitch at times. That motto was repeated throughout the speech, which set out the government’s plan for prosperity, including: ‘levelling up’, which encompassed opening treasury offices in all four countries of the UK and moving 22,000 civil service jobs outside of London; investments to encourage business growth, including additional government loan support and research and

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