Budget 2016 fall out – Politicians may be interested in the spat between George and IDS but businesses will be more interested in the financial effect of the Budget measures. In the South West, with our high proportion of smaller businesses, the Chancellor’s measures on Business Rates are welcome. Small Business Rates Relief has always been popular with business owners and the new thresholds will affect a considerable number of properties. BUT … they don’t apply until April 2017 and some of the T&Cs are not yet available.
Changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax are positive for purchasers of properties with a capital value of less than £1,050,000 which will be good news for many businesses in the South West where commercial property values are far lower than in the South East and London. Changes to SDLT on leases will only affect properties where the Net Present Value calculation is £5m or above, so this will have little effect on our market overall.
So in the short term, smaller businesses can afford to welcome the 2016 Budget but, with Business Rates revenue and collection being progressively devolved to Local Authorities up to 2020 for how long will these concessions last bearing in mind that their grant from central Government tapers off? So when, finally, this tax relief is withdrawn, the local Council will take the flack, not the Chancellor – clever!