Autumn Statement reaction

In response to the Autumn Statement, Vince McLoughlin, Partner at Russell New - a firm of tax & charity advisers based in Upper Beeding, West Sussex comments: “George Osborne must convince the markets, and indeed the general public, that we are not about to enter another recession. That is the key issue of the Autumn Statement.

“Confidence is low and with continuing turmoil in Europe, a negative report from the Office for Budget Responsibility will enhance the pressure on George Osborne to deliver some stimulus to the economy. He might find it difficult not to move away from Plan A despite his insistence that this is the right route to follow.

“The taxpayer backed loan schemes may provide some improvement to the facilities that businesses need to generate some growth but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and despite what lenders have been saying about the availability of funds even now, our experience is that clients are still finding it difficult to obtain borrowing on reasonable terms.

“We need to make Britain an attractive environment in which to invest, particularly with much of Europe offering the exact opposite. The 50 per cent tax rate yields little in comparison to the disincentive it gives to wealthy individuals and entrepreneurs to invest in this country and an early withdrawal of this temporary measure would be a welcome proposal.

“On the other hand, the suggestion that some of the funding to meet the targets to tackle youth unemployment will come from cutting the tax credits of already struggling middle and low income families is of some concern. I think we will have to wait with much interest for the Budget to see what the Chancellor proposes for the tax regime.”