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Chartered Accountants and Professional Business Advisers

Budget Summary 2013

Introduction

Evening Standard readers might be forgiven for skipping our Budget Summary this year if they were lucky enough to get a sneak (or should that be leak) preview before the Chancellor even stood up. For those that missed it, we have our very own "read all about it" here.

It might not merely be old news, but there were certainly some echoes of the past in this Budget: the new "help to buy" initiative to encourage people to climb the property ladder might remind you of a certain previous government's famous "right to buy" campaign. And one thing is abundantly clear: this Chancellor is definitely not for turning – where have we heard that before?

Every Chancellor tries to convince us that he can cure the country's woes and that this time things can only get better. But is there any substance to this? Recent Budgets seem to be more about tinkering at the edges, with a rate change here, a new initiative there and tax legislation which is longer and more complex than ever before. These are difficult enough times without all the rule changes and red tape (a favourite topic of ours here at Shipleys). Uncertainty is always unwelcome – as evidenced by the recent events in Cyprus and the Eurozone.

Whether it's the fault of his own policies, a hangover from his predecessor or part of the much wider global economic situation, just about everybody agrees that the numbers show that the Chancellor is not where he would like to be. It looks like the recovery is going to be long haul and, regardless of your politics, this could be the "new normal". If you've been waiting for things to get better, it might be time to pinch yourself and take a small dose of reality.

Whilst there were some interesting-sounding measures to help business in the Chancellor's speech, and covered in this Summary, in our experience what people really crave is certainty and stability so they can plan for the long term growth that's so badly needed. It's important for businesses and individuals to be aware of the tax and other changes at Budget time so that you know what the opportunities are. It's our job at Shipleys to look through the politics of it all and to keep on top of the detail so that we can help you steer the right path; you could say 'more of the same energising your aspirations'.

Ken Roberts, Managing Principal
20th March 2013

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