A CHANDLER’S Ford-based chartered accountant has reacted to the new budget.

Alan Rolfe, senior tax manager at HWB, said that the budget, announced on March 6, held “few major surprises”.

He said: “The headline announcement for most people was the 2 per cent National Insurance cut from this April. This benefits employees’ take-home pay and it means employers can offer the same salaries at less cost.

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“The raising of the child benefit threshold for higher rate earners from £50,000 to £60,000, tapering down to zero at £80,000, is significant. It will enable substantially more parents to take advantage of child benefits while earning. 

“There was potentially good news for people looking for tax-free investment opportunities with the announcement of a consultation on a UK ISA. If it goes ahead, this will enable an extra £5,000 to be put into an individual savings account while encouraging investment in UK companies. If our economy grows, so in turn does the value of the ISA.

“Small businesses will benefit from the rise in the VAT registration threshold from £85,000 to £90,000. The ceiling has not kept pace with inflation in recent years and raising it will make all kinds of traders and firms a little more competitive in their pricing.

“There were three specific property tax changes which together paint a mixed picture for landlords.

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“The abolition of the tax advantage on furnished holiday lets and the removal of stamp duty relief on multiple dwellings were both predicted.

“On the other hand, landlords and owners will welcome the 4 per cent cut in higher-rate Capital Gain Tax on residential property sales. The jury is out as to whether or not this will stimulate more transactions and improve the market.”

Based in Chandler’s Ford, HWB Chartered Accountants provides business and tax advice.