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Spring Budget offers “essential lifeline for struggling hospitality and haulage” sectors

| Duncan & Toplis | 6 March 2024

“Grass-roots growth” set to spur UK economy.

Tax Director and Head of Private Client, Graeme Hills, says today’s Spring Budget offers an “essential lifeline” for struggling businesses, with the hospitality, retail and leisure, and haulage and logistics sectors set to benefit from immediate tax cuts.

Graeme says that today’s announcement from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is a “welcome relief” for businesses across the region - and the UK:

“Introducing a raft of new measures to uplift the economy, the Chancellor’s Spring Budget bodes very well for UK businesses. It’s effectively throwing struggling businesses an essential lifeline, especially those in the hospitality and haulage sectors.

“Targeted personal and sector-specific investment means that the nation’s SMEs should benefit from increased activity and revenue by investing in the people running them and shopping in them - which is very promising for grass-roots growth.

“The government’s commitment to extend the freeze on alcohol duty until 2025 will be a welcome relief that’s set to boost the balance books of almost 40,000 pubs across the country. These much-needed concessions are further helped by the 75% business rates relief for retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses.

“Fuel duty being frozen for another 12 months is fantastic news for the average motorist, who will save an average of £50 a year but, of course, the savings will be significantly more pronounced for the country’s haulage sector, which is under increased pressures with record numbers of hauliers facing insolvency.”

Further measures announced affecting businesses in the region, and nationwide, include the extension of the recovery loans scheme and increasing the VAT registration threshold from £85,000 to £90,000.

This has been warmly welcomed by Graeme, who said: “This is an overdue simplification of a notoriously complex tax that businesses have to navigate”.

“This and other measures might seem small individually, but cumulatively they offer a real incentive to back British businesses. On top of these, businesses are also effectively getting a £10 billion tax cut in the form of 100% expensing being extended to leased assets for small and medium businesses.

“Businesses may perhaps have hoped for more targeted relief, and there are some unwelcome changes, such as the abolition of Furnished Holiday Lettings relief, which will affect plenty of legitimate businesses as well as casual AirBnB owners. But this is an uplifting budget overall that I think will go a long way towards incentivising SMEs across Britain and improving the UK economy from the ground up.”

Detailed analysis

Our team will be sharing their thoughts in a special post-Budget economic event on Tuesday 12 March at the Lincolnshire Showground. Leading experts, including Dan van der Schans, Economist in the British Business Bank’s Economics team will be exploring small business finance markets and how businesses can set out to achieve the Bank's four strategic objectives: driving sustainable growth, backing innovation, unlocking potential, and building the modern, green economy.


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