What should be in the Budget

Date Published: 02/03/2021 17:11

I was asked by David Walsh, business editor at the Sheffield Star, what I would like to see in the Budget on March 3rd 2021. These are my thoughts:

Whilst we understand the need to start paying off the debt caused by the pandemic, the current priority is to ensure that the economy bounces back and businesses are allowed to rebuild balance sheets. Increasing income and corporation tax at this point defeats the fiscal objectives in a post Brexit environment; we need to pivot off a vaccinated workforce, whilst most of the rest of the world in only dreaming of getting their labour force back in gainful employment. We have a head start, and we need to make the most of it.

A combination of the Bank of England bringing in negative interest rates and reducing VAT across the board for say 18 months, would encourage those who have saved money during the pandemic to spend, creating emphasis on supporting local business, rather than the ‘click’ economies is essential. 

To release the rules and constraints on pensions schemes is essential to allow these significant ‘war chests’ to expand what they can invest into, supporting the recovery from the pandemic, and commercially fund infrastructure projects.  Yes there needs to be a commercial backdrop to the pensions funds receiving a return in such projects, but this will get schemes funded without delay, and save Government borrowing further monies. This will create jobs in ‘shovel ready’ projects and cut those on furlough or unemployed.

This article was first published in the Sheffield Star newspaper.

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