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“Saffery Champness host Autumn Budget breakfast at The Vitality Stadium”

Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants hosted their 2017 post Autumn Budget breakfast at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth.  They presented to a packed room of over 100 guests, representing businesses and the professional communities of Bournemouth and Poole.

Saffery Partner, Nick Fernyhough opened the event.  Commenting on the first Autumn Budget he said, “Is the age of austerity over? Is reducing the deficit not as important as we had been led to believe? This appears to be the message from a ‘borrow and spend’ Budget, but it’s not a message that the Government is vocalising.”

Continuing Nick said, “We have a productivity conundrum – we’ve got virtually full employment, technological advances but no improvement in productivity.  No one seems able to explain this, let alone solve it.

“On Brexit the Chancellor is perceived as an unreformed Remainer, pressured in to putting money aside for unspecified costs relating to possible costs of Brexit outcomes, with little indication of what these might be.  As accountants we cannot prepare accounts with such vague provisions.”

Tax Director Ian Harlock-Smith discussed the increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold for first time buyers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and also gave a detailed insight into the changes to the “knowledge intensive” companies EIS/VCT rules and new anti-avoidance measures that are designed to remove low risk investments from EIS.

Tax Partner Alex Simmons gave a reminder to the audience of previously announced tax changes that will shortly be coming into force. He also provided his insight on some of the possible tax changes that may occur in the future.

Chartered Surveyor Simon Tubbs of Cowling & West said, “The announcement on the abolition of Stamp Duty for first time buyers will be positively received although I would have concerns that this may only increase demand in a market whose real issue is a lack of supply. The underlying problem, in my opinion, is this lack of supply and whilst a commitment to build 300,000 new homes is a positive measure the Chancellor also stated that this would not be achieved until the mid-2020’s.”

Simon added, “The Chancellor also enhanced and extended reliefs for Business Rates to reduce the hardship caused by the latest revaluation although in my opinion the complex nature of the current Appeals System remains a primary concern.”

Director of Real Recruitment Solutions, Jacqueline Entwistle commented, “From a business perspective the Budget does not have any significant impact on me.  It’s a shame, however, that the Government didn’t reduce Stamp Duty for all as I think that this would have had a positive impact on the housing market.”

Nick concluded, “We’ve been delighted at the high turnout today. Even though the Budget wasn’t packed with immediate changes, Alex and Ian gave very useful insight and a resume of the direction of travel that HMRC are on for the future. It was good to hear questions from the audience.”

About Saffery Champness

Saffery Champness LLP is the 12th largest firm of chartered accountants in the UK (by fee income), providing specialist advice to a wide range of individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organisations. The firm does not try to be all things to all people. Instead, its focus is very much on seven core areas of business, where it has built significant expertise and can really bring value to clients’ affairs: private wealth; business advisory; entrepreneurs; land and estates; not-for-profit; sports and entertainment; international.

For over 160 years, the firm’s success has been founded upon providing clients with a genuinely partner-led service, and working with them to create bespoke solutions that help them to achieve their personal and business objectives.

Saffery Champness has almost 70 partners and nearly 600 staff in the UK, across nine offices, plus a presence in Guernsey, Geneva and Zurich, with 140 directors and staff based outside the UK.

Saffery Champness is also a member of the Nexia International network (Nexia). Nexia is a leading, global network of independent accounting and consulting firms, spanning over 100 countries.

Visit www.saffery.com for more information or see Twitter: @Safferys.

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