Budget focuses on levelling up for union

KPMG Partner and Head of Tax in Scotland Vishal Chopra comments on the Budget

KPMG Partner and Head of Tax in Scotland Vishal Chopra comments on the Budget

Responding to the Budget, Vishal Chopra, Head of Tax for Scotland, KPMG in the UK, said:

“Despite being fuelled by an economy that is growing faster and borrowing less than the OBR previously anticipated, this was a budget which recognised the lasting impact of the pandemic and the long road to recovery which many businesses still must make to return to prosperity.

“The unveiling of new business rate reliefs in England of up to 50 percent for sectors including retail, hospitality and leisure will be watched carefully by those at Holyrood, who may look to mirror some of the tax reliefs for businesses in Scotland during the Scottish Budget in December.

“Rishi Sunak’s Budget focused on regional rebalancing including a number of funding announcements for Scotland, with the Government keen to provide a foundation for growth and economic rebalancing. While we hope the Levelling Up White Paper will bring further focus to the Government’s efforts to rebalance the UK economy, it’s pleasing to see that the Government is wasting no time in addressing what the Chancellor referred to as the UK’s “uneven geography”.

“Scotland’s food and drink sector will be feeling hopeful with measures designed to provide duty relief for low alcohol content producers such as cider and other low ABV drinks, cancelling the planned increase on duties for spirits including whisky, and introducing a new ‘draught relief’ to support pubs.

“Certain sectors will be feeling more optimistic about the future than they have for some time, including those dependent on domestic flights where changes to Air Passenger Duty have been announced. It remains to be seen how this will interact with Scotland’s proposed Air Departure tax. The creative industries will also be thankful for extensions and reforms to tax reliefs which will affect the likes of museums, galleries, and theatres.

“Almost as significant was the absence of comment on certain areas, with relatively little on the environment ahead of COP26, or addressing how we tax wealth and the way we work.  

“Scotland’s business community is likely to be relieved that it was a relatively quiet Budget for them with few new tax obligations, and time now then to consider the previously announced increases in Corporate Tax and National Insurance Contributions.”




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