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  1. Wealth
November 23, 2016

Autumn Statement: the City reacts

By Spear's

We bring you fresh commentary and choice soundbites as Britain reacts to the new chancellor’s first (refresh page for updates).

The key points so far:

  • The Autumn Statement itself is to be abolished, and replaced with a budget in the Spring
  • National living wage increased to help Jams
  • Tax-free personal allowance increased
  • Letting agents fees now banned
  • No changes made to the corporation tax roadmap
  • Infrastructure to receive £23bn from productivity fund
  • Public sector debt forecasts increased
  • Plans scrapped for surplus in 2019/20
  • OBR cuts UK growth forecasts for the next two years
  • More funding to be made available for affordable housing
  • Fuel duty has been frozen for the seventh year running

1716 – Charles Calkin, head of financial planning at James Hambro & Co. says: ‘It was clear from Twitter responses to the salary sacrifice statement that commentators were confused as to what the chancellor was really announcing today. It looks like salary sacrifice for pensions and childcare vouchers remains intact (for now). This will be a huge relief, not just for employers but also many employees for whom this can be a substantial benefit.

‘The increase in insurance premium tax from June 2017 is one of those clever tax rises that many people will not notice until they renew their premiums next year, at which point they’ll probably blame the insurers, not the Chancellor!

‘Plans to ban pension cold calls and fees for tenants were touted before the Statement and still need to be worked through in practice, but will be seen as positive by many.

‘The ‘market-leading’ new NS&I savings bond sounds more attractive than it is. The details won’t be announced till the Budget next Spring, by which point a 2.2% interest rate may not look quite so appealing as it does today. The investment limit of £3,000 is not exactly going to make a huge difference to people who can already easily get 1.2% on a three-year savings product with some shopping around. It’s the equivalent of £30 a year extra!

‘Pensioners will welcome the commitment to the triple-lock but the Chancellor’s comment about the challenges of rising longevity and fiscal sustainability should ring warning bells. This could be an early flag that pensioners may be about to lose some of the immunity from tax grabs they have enjoyed in recent years.’

1715 – James Horniman, portfolio manager at James Hambro & Partners says:

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Forecasts and data

Mr Hammond tried to put on a brave face, but the public finances have deteriorated and with a £122bn black hole opening up that left him standing at the wicket with a broken bat, to quote a famous predecessor.

The OBR forecasts UK growth at 2.1% this year but expects that to fall to 1.4% next year and says that uncertainty around the exit deal with the EU is likely to act as a 2.4% drag on growth.

What we heard today is unlikely to do anything to change our current position of being modestly underweight the UK in portfolios.


‘When money is tight it’s more important than ever to spend it wisely. The Chancellor made clear his three priorities ­– productivity, housing and inequality.

‘It is not acceptable that Britain lags the US and Germany in terms of productivity by 30% and plans for a £23bn National Productivity Fund a commitment to greater investment in R&D and infrastructure – much of it focused on productivity – are to be welcomed. Improved roads and better rail networks are essential to long-term economic growth, as is a modern digital infrastructure and the investment in 5G is a positive example of careful targeting of capital.

‘The £1.4 billon for 40,000 affordable homes was flagged before the Autumn Statement and is part of a broader package to build more homes. That will go down well with housebuilders, but the impacts on householders will take longer to be felt.

‘Previous Chancellors have sprinkled their statements with liberal repetition of key phrases and themes just to make sure their audience got the point. Philip Hammond is a more subtle operator. His suggestion that plans not to raise fuel duty were a “tax cut” might sound a bit rich to some. But on the whole the rhetoric and claims were reassuringly low-key.

‘If there was a recurring theme it was his commitment to the regions and investment in the Northern Powerhouse (which got a couple of shouts) the Midlands Engine and elsewhere. This fits with his equality priority, which was supported by plans to raise the national minimum wage.

‘Many of the announcements were merely commitments to carry on as before. These seemed like fairly modest spending plans and we will need to look more closely at the details that emerge in the days to come to work out where the funding is coming from even for these ­– this is likely to be more than from just departmental cuts and clamp downs on corporate tax avoidance and salary sacrifice schemes. The devil is always in the detail.

‘Overall, one couldn’t help feeling that this is a Chancellor keeping some fuel in the tank for the uncertain days that lie ahead. And that seems shrewd.’

1640 – Kay Aylott, director of private client Services at Kreston Reeves says: ‘While the housing gap was mentioned early on in the Chancellors speech, surprisingly the tax gap was not. Buried in the detail of the 72 page Autumn Statement however, the tax gap is mentioned under “Avoidance and Evasion” and while the UK’s tax gap remains one of the lowest in the world the Government are committed to reducing the perceived gap and also to raising further revenues given that tax receipts were lower than expected this year.

‘The Government continue to erode the advantages of using off shore vehicles to shelter profits and the advantages afforded to individuals of foreign birth who can shelter overseas wealth from UK taxation.

‘The Government confirmed today that the changes previously announced for non domiciled individuals will be introduced next April and little has changed following the consultations undertaken earlier this year. As a result, long term residents will be deemed UK-domiciled for tax purposes if they have been resident for 15 of the past 20 years or if they were born in the UK with a UK domicile of origin.

‘In addition, from April inheritance tax will be charged on UK resident property held in an offshore company or trust. However, the Government remains committed to encouraging inward investment especially following the Brexit vote so they propose to make changes to the Business Investment relief scheme to make it easier for non- domiciled individuals to bring offshore funds into the UK without incurring a tax charge.

‘The Government also consider that there should be equal tax treatment between UK resident and non resident companies so will consider bringing all non resident companies receiving UK income into the UK corporation tax regime.

‘A further indication that the Government is committed to plugging the gap and raising more revenue is the proposal to introduce a legal requirement for intermediaries to register offshore structures.

‘Given the numerous Automatic Exchange of Information agreements between the UK and other countries, the eroding of the tax advantages for non-domiciled individuals, the increased level of transparency required for offshore entities, the ability to look overseas for tax mitigation solutions continues to diminish.

‘Post Brexit there remains a fine balancing act between extracting a fair tax contribution from those who wish to settle and trade within the UK against the potential alienation and loss of valuable inward investment if these individuals and businesses choose to turn their back on a not so attractive UK.’

1630 – Commenting on making the UK open to business, Adam Benskin, director at Strabens Hall, says: ‘To counter post-Brexit uncertainty, it is essential to keep the UK as attractive as possible to companies. Thus it would have made little sense to have diverged from plans to reduce corporation tax from 20% to 17% by 2020. Any measures aimed at corporates needed to factor in the UK’s competitive advantage post-Brexit and ensure that the UK remains an attractive place for companies to base themselves.’

1615 – Commenting on the increased tax on employment, Roger Harding, tax director at Gordon Dadds comments: ‘Many employers and their employees will be disappointed at the announcement that salary sacrifice arrangements are to be taxed in the same way as cash salary. This removes a tax saving for many employees who prefer to be provided with a benefit in kind in place of salary. Together with the alignment of the Employers and Employees NIC threshold it constitutes an increased tax on employment.

‘Those firms that engage contractors through their own companies will also be alarmed that the burden of PAYE will lie with them rather than the contractor’s company. Many contractor based arrangements will now need to be reviewed perhaps resulting in early termination of some contracts. The fact the contractors company has borne any PAYE burden in such arrangements has always been a puzzle and this would seem to be a logical change, albeit unwelcome for many.’

1615 – Commenting on tax hikes affecting international property investment into the UK, Huw Witty, head of tax at Gordon Dadds, says:

‘One point of key interest is that the government is considering including all non-UK resident companies within the charge of corporation tax (at present no resident investment companies are normally subject to income tax). Whilst the rate of corporation tax is to be lower than basic rate income the detailed rules concerning tax relief for interest are set to be far more favourable than the comparable rules for corporation tax.

‘Corporation tax is normally chargeable on all capital gains but income tax paying companies do not pay capital gains tax, for example, on commercial properties. This is another tax hike which will hit the international property investment into the UK.’

1615 – Dawn Register, partner at BDO Tax Dispute Resolution, says:

Focus on HMRC performance

‘Most taxpayers will welcome the increased transparency of HMRC’s performance, especially as people face more digital interactions with HMRC in the years leading to 2020. The ability to get through to HMRC by telephone is a regular frustration for many who rely on civil servants for advice. Likewise, the recent increase of complaints against HMRC is clearly under the spotlight as an area for improvement.  However, there is a worryingly lack of detail about investment in HMRC to achieve improvements and implement new powers and penalties.’

Tax avoidance

‘A new penalty is being introduced for those helping someone to use a tax avoidance scheme. Participants in tax avoidance schemes are usually hit with significant bills when HMRC defeats a scheme, and this new penalty will also impact advisers. The concerted campaign by HMRC against artificial and contrived tax avoidance was re-emphasized by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement.  The pressure continues to mount on participants, especially in the build-up to April 2017, where we will see the commencement of the Serial Avoider’s Regime. Most tax professionals have already seen a change in appetite for ‘highly artificial’ tax schemes with many taxpayers being conscious of HMRC’s actions in this area. Those that fail to withdraw could be subject to HMRC’s new ‘naming and shaming’ laws with all the reputational risk and damage that ensues.’

Tax Evasion

‘The Chancellor announced at the dispatch box that the UK tax gap is one of the lowest in the world. This statement is hard to reconcile when the Treasury’s most recent estimate is that the current UK ‘tax gap’ is £34bn, half of this being lost to tax fraud every year. We would expect more focus on reducing the tax gap further to raise money for all the spending plans that were announced today.

‘Global transparency continues to dominant HMRC’s action to tackle tax evasion. This is driven by the OECD, so we expect no impact from the UK leaving the European Union. Bank data will continue to flow automatically between countries from January 2017 and under mutual assistance agreements. We expect countries will help HMRC to enforce UK tax debts and pursue evaders. There really will be nowhere to hide.’

Requirement to Correct

‘HMRC is putting people on notice that if they do not put their UK tax affairs in order by 30 September 2018 then the consequences will be severe. With a no excuses policy.

‘The Chancellor has today announced legislation for inclusion in the Finance Bill 2017, which will create a new legal demand for taxpayers to correct their tax returns. This is going to shine a spotlight on individuals with any offshore related tax matters, to check and double check that their UK filings are accurate. Advisers are also going to feel under pressure to ensure there are no technical mistakes. We expect this will lead to an increase in voluntary disclosures prior to the expected deadline of 30 September 2018. By making this a legal requirement, HMRC is really giving teeth to the message that people who do not get their tax affairs in order will face severe consequences.’

1600 – James Hender, head of private wealth group and partner at Saffery Champness says:

On NI and the Personal Allowance

‘Ensuring that National Insurance thresholds are the same for employees and employers contributions will remove unnecessary complications for employers. However, the additional employer cost of £7 per employee per year will not be welcomed at a time of increased payroll costs such as the apprenticeship levy.’

On the tax gap

‘The Chancellor claims that we have one of the lowest tax gaps in the world – a significant change in tune from George Osborne’s day and a demonstration of how effective the recent rules clamping down on tax avoidance have been.

‘Clamping down on inappropriate use of reliefs was inevitable, but the Chancellor should be careful not to hit innocent people.  Likewise, professional costs may well go up as businesses seek to ensure that they do not fall foul of the new rules.’

On abolishing the Autumn Statement

‘The Chancellor’s move to abolish the Autumn Statement was certainly an unexpected firework. While shifting to a spring statement may seem as mad as a March hare, many will be pleased by the prospect of greater stability which, we hope, will come with just the one key fiscal event.’

1600 – Lucy Brennan, partner in the private wealth group at Saffery Champness says:

On corporation tax

Many were expecting an announcement to reduce corporation tax rates further, especially given Theresa May’s announcement to match Donald Trump’s pledge to reduce US corporate rates to 15%. However, there will also be a sigh of relief with the commitment to bring rates down to 17% as planned, and to make the UK more competitive across Europe and the world.’

On NI and the Personal Allowance

‘Aligning employee and employer thresholds was only to be expected.  With the tax lock in place, it is only the thresholds that can create an additional revenue stream for the Chancellor.

‘Although there is a commitment to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 and the basic rate band to £50,000 by 2020, there is still no information as to how and when the increases are going to take place except that they will move to £11,500 and £45,000 in 2017, which leaves a long way to go on the basic rate band. This impacts on working families and does not provide the level of relief hoped for by those dragged unexpectedly into the higher rate tax band.  We also wait for a sign as to how this is to be funded, historically such moves have been funded by moving the thresholds for the higher tax rates.’

On the tax gap

‘The £2bn announced to tackle tax avoidance is really only a drop in the £36bn tax avoidance ocean and only addresses one of the behaviours which contribute to the gap. Failure to take adequate care is responsible for a far larger proportion of the tax gap than avoidance and is, arguably, a more pressing issue.’

1550 – Commenting on the news that the government will introduce a new penalty for those that enable a tax avoidance scheme which is later challenged by HMRC and defeated in the courts, Emma Loveday, partner at Wedlake Bell says: ‘The Chancellor continued in the same vein as his predecessors in targeting tax evasion, tax avoidance and “aggressive tax planning”, and included confirmation that the government will introduce a new penalty for those that enable a tax avoidance scheme which is later challenged by HMRC and defeated in the courts. Tax advisers will be concerned at the apparent equation of “tax planning” with tax evasion and will want there to be a clear line within the proposed legislation so that advisers can be sure that standard and legitimate planning is not affected, and neither are individuals deterred from fairly organising their tax affairs to preserve wealth for their families.’

1550 – Commenting on the lack of announcements on SDLT in the Autumn Statement, Nicola Plant, partner and head of the private client team at Thomson Snell & Passmore comments: ‘It’s disappointing to see that the Chancellor has made no amendments to the new additional rate SDLT, which came into effect from 6 April 2016. The Chancellor is either unaware of or unconcerned about the impact this new additional 3% rate is having on vulnerable minors, where property is being purchased for their occupation and parents have not contributed to the purchase price.”

1540 – Dipan Shah, partner and London private business leader at PwC, says: ‘Overall the tax changes for small businesses were what we expected, with the reductions in the corporation tax rate to 17 per cent by 2020 set to continue.

‘SMEs will face restrictions in how tax-efficiently they can reward employees, because of restrictions in salary sacrifice, abolition of the share-for-rights scheme and marginal increases in employer national insurance contributions. The government is also seeking to help incubate growing businesses through a £400 million investment via VC funds – which is welcome.’

1520 – Commenting on pension savings’ exclusion from Salary Sacrifice changes, Simon Bashorun, financial planning team leader at Investec Wealth & Investment, says: ‘It is great news to see pension savings excluded from the Salary Sacrifice changes announced in today’s Autumn Statement. Where this option is offered, it remains an incredibly efficient way for individuals to contribute to their pension scheme, particularly where their employer pays part of the Employer’s National Insurance saving into the pension plan.

‘Since April 2015, individuals taking income benefits flexibly from their pension plans have had to be aware that doing so may reduce the amount they can contribute tax efficiently to pensions in the future through the £10,000 Money Purchase Annual Allowance. The reduction in this allowance to £4,000 reinforces the need to take appropriate advice when drawing benefits from a plan in this way, particularly if there is the intention to continue working and contributing to a pension scheme at that point or at some point in the future.’

1516 – Piers Master, tax partner at Charles Russell Speechlys on the subject of anti-forestalling rules:

‘The Autumn Statement contained little that will have surprised private client advisers.

‘We are pleased to see that rumours the Government would introduce anti-forestalling rules did not materialise. These measures could have challenged the ability of our clients to prepare for the April 2017 tax changes to long-term UK resident non-domiciliaries.

‘We await with great interest the publication of draft legislation on these changes on 5th December, which we hope will allow advisers to plan with greater certainty.’

1514 – Simon Bashorun, financial planning team leader at Investec Wealth & Investment, said: ‘It is great news to see pension saving excluded from the Salary Sacrifice changes announced in today’s Autumn Statement. Where this option is offered, it remains an incredibly efficient way for individuals to contribute to their pension scheme, particularly where their employer pays part of the Employer’s National Insurance saving into the pension plan.’

‘Since April 2015, individuals taking income benefits flexibly from their pension plans have had to be aware that doing so may reduce the amount they can contribute tax efficiently to pensions in the future through the £10,000 Money Purchase Annual Allowance. The reduction in this allowance to £4,000 reinforces the need to take appropriate advice when drawing benefits from a plan in this way, particularly if there is the intention to continue working and contributing to a pension scheme at that point or at some point in the future.’

1504 – Crowe Clark Whitehill’s John Cassidy, tax investigations partner, comments:

‘As signalled at Budget 2016, the government confirmed that it will introduce a new penalty for any person who has enabled another person or business to use a tax avoidance arrangement that is later defeated by HMRC. It remains to be seen what the new regime looks like and we are yet to see HMRC’s follow up to the responses submitted to its August consultation document on the subject. One worrying aspect announced, however, is that users of avoidance schemes will still face financial penalties even if they relied on advice from a suitably qualified professional, if that adviser is ‘non-independent’.

On simplification and cutting complexity

1504 – Laurence Field, head of tax at Crowe Clark Whitehill, comments:

‘Taxpayers hoping to see a focus on simplification in Hammond’s inaugural speech are likely to be disappointed at the lack of meaningful action to reduce the compliance burden. For a Budget focused on improving productivity, simplifying the tax legislation would have been a nice statement of intent to business. The UK tax code stands at more than 17,000 pages. People want simplicity and fairness and the lack of resources being devoted to this is disappointing.

Fiscal competition is at an all-time high, with governments hungry for tax revenues, and positioning the UK as an attractive place to do business gains even more importance in the context of economic uncertainty caused by Brexit. Slashing tax red tape would reassure investors that Britain is indeed ‘open for business’.

On non-doms and being ‘open for business’

1504 – Tom Elliott, head of private clients, at Crowe Clark Whitehill comments:

‘The UK must be seen as an attractive place for foreign individuals to live and invest. As with other elements of the tax code, a balance must be struck between competitive tax policy and the inherently nebulous concept of ‘tax fairness’. The changes for non-doms that the Chancellor confirmed will apply from April – including inheritance tax being charged on UK residential property when held indirectly by a non-domiciled individual through an offshore structure – do little to ensure the UK retains its appeal, despite scoring on the populist front.’

Creating a housing market that works for everyone

1500 – Adam Cutler, VAT director at Crowe Clark Whitehill comments:

‘As expected, there was the announcement of £1.4 billion to create an additional 40,000 new homes, relaxation of restrictions on the sort of homes that grant can be used for, and an end to letting agents’ fees to tenants. He also recognised the difficulties of unlocking the potential of certain sites, and there will be £2.3 billion of infrastructure spending targeted at enabling sites to be developed for housing.’

‘The Chancellor announced a doubling of capital spending on housing over this parliament. As part of a loosening of fiscal targets, there will be a target for welfare spending, but it was not detailed what this will be. What will be particularly welcomed by housing associations, who have had to deal with a raft of welfare reforms over the last few years, was a confirmation that there were no plans to introduce further welfare savings on top of those already announced.’

1455 – Frederick Bjørn, partner at Payne Hicks Beach, comments:

‘Many of the announcements had been trailed in advance so there were no major headline surprises. The increase in the personal allowance is no doubt a help to those in employment, particularly the targeted ‘JAMs’, but is nothing new. The commitment to a Corporation Tax rate of 17 per cent sends a positive message regarding UK businesses but was again confirmation of what had already been announced. Overall, despite a commitment to spend to enhance the economy, this was a Budget devoid of good news for UK Plc and its future – which remains as uncertain as ever.

‘The continued crackdown on ‘tax avoiders and those who help them’ again focuses on avoidance ‘schemes’. Whilst the scope of these crackdowns continues to expand, and the extent of the latest announcement has yet to be seen, the premise has not changed: abolishing artificial schemes designed solely to avoid tax is a priority.’

1453 – Dean Turner, UK economist at UBS Wealth Management:

On economic impact
‘With the economy holding up better than initially feared, the Chancellor has acted prudently, keeping his options open for now. The modest changes announced are consistent with the limited impact on the economy of the referendum thus far.

The key takeaway from today’s statement is the impact of the OBR’s downgraded growth forecast and the implications for the UK’s structural deficit. Closing the hole in public finances whilst stabilising the economy in the wake of Brexit is no easy feat. Today’s weaker, but still somewhat optimistic, growth outlook has made the Chancellor’s job more difficult.’

On infrastructure investment

‘Small-scale initiatives announced by the Chancellor are likely to provide support to the economy in the near term, but are unlikely to be large enough to offset the fall in investment elsewhere within the economy.’

14:50 – Dipan Shah, partner and London private business leader at PwC: ‘Overall the tax changes for small businesses were what we expected, with the reductions in the corporation tax rate to 17 per cent by 2020 set to continue.

‘SMEs will face restrictions in how tax-efficiently they can reward employees, because of restrictions in salary sacrifice, abolition of the share-for-rights scheme and marginal increases in employer national insurance contributions. The government is also seeking to help incubate growing businesses through a £400m investment via VC funds – which is welcome.’

1420 – Lucy-Rose Walker, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark says: ‘The Chancellor’s pledge to provide an economic environment that drives productivity and supports growth sounds great for entrepreneurs, but we’re keen to see more support for early stage and scale-up businesses in the form of tax relief, access to finance and support for employing and developing people.’

On broadband investment

‘Technology is a great enabler for business growth and here at Entrepreneurial Spark we’re seeing growing momentum across the UK in the technology sector. Investing in broadband will help more internet based businesses to grow, however many of our Chiclets and alumni are facing issues in accessing basic broadband services, so access for all should be prioritised before investment is made into 5G networks. We are currently looking to the future to help entrepreneurs right across the UK through a virtual business growth enablement programme so access to broadband is essential to help us deliver this.’

On R&D funding

‘Investment into R&D is crucial for British firms to compete in a global economy. The commitment of £2 billion per year in tax breaks between now and 2020 for research and development will certainly help, however we’d like to see more done to help start-ups and scale ups access finance to help them grow.’

On regional investment

‘The increased support for economies outside of London will help to strengthen entrepreneurship and economic growth across the UK through schemes such as City Deals and investment into regional transport infrastructure.’

On the British Business Bank VC fund

‘Unlocking £1bn in finance for growing firms through the British Business Bank as venture capital funding is a great step forward in helping start-up and scale-up businesses to invest in growth.’

On corporation tax

‘Sticking to the previously announced tax roadmap is a good move for the Chancellor, reducing corporation tax to 17% by 2020 as previously planned is crucial at this time of uncertainty for British business. We hope this will see continued investment into UK start-ups.’

1412 – Commending the government’s renewed focus on R&D, Mark Tighe, managing director at RD Tax Solutions says: ‘In today’s tech-driven UK economy, R&D is the new rock n’ roll.

‘The Government is acutely aware that if this country wants to stay competitive globally, R&D is vital, and in this Autumn Statement it has put its money where its mouth is.

‘Rapid technology advances have made R&D something that more and more businesses can enter into and commit budget to.

‘In a growing number of sectors companies need to invest in R&D just to stay in the game.

‘However, there’s still a wide misconception that R&D tax relief is really only available to giant pharmaceutical companies employing armies of people in white coats.

‘In reality, we are securing tax relief on a daily basis for smaller companies ranging from breweries and vets to manufacturing and construction companies.

‘While the number of firms spending money on R&D is rising, there’s still a long way to go in raising awareness about the lucrative tax reliefs available. Only a tiny percentage of firms investing in R&D are claiming back the available tax reliefs.’

1405 – Richard Le Tocq, head of Locate Guernsey, says: “Despite the Chancellor’s best efforts, the Autumn Statement has done little to allay the concerns of the UK HNW community. With the new non-dom tax regime scheduled to take effect from April 2017, many are still looking to the Chancellor to provide much needed clarity.

‘During this period of economic and political instability, UK HNWs are still eagerly awaiting reassurance regarding their place in the fractious post-Brexit economy.  In the absence of any adequate guidance however, UK HNWs will be increasingly weighing up their options.

‘As a result of this continued uncertainty, Locate Guernsey expects a continuation of growth in relocation enquiries from the UK. UK HNWs are now actively searching for the jurisdictional security that locations such as Guernsey provide.

‘The island is well prepared for Brexit and when the UK leaves the EU there will be no material change. This places Guernsey in a strong position to ensure that the interests of our residents and businesses are taken into account during the negotiations that lie ahead.’

1346 – James Pike, head of charities at Waverton IM, says the chancellor must do more to find new funding and income streams to support charitable giving in the UK: ‘Charities face more red flags to contend with from the Autumn statement; the public are faced with higher inflation and consumer confidence is lower. Those organisations reliant on public support appear likely to face a continuation of the challenges of the last decade in raising income in an environment of uncertainty and rising costs for all.’

‘The pressures on the charity sector to find new funding and income streams, whilst faced with increased costs, have been notable in past few years; despite the Chancellor’s Autumn statement focussing on protecting the recovery, many in the charity sector are yet to see a financial recovery. Whilst certain policies including devolved borrowing powers and tax giveaways will help some sections of the charity sector, a strategic approach for all appears to be missing.’

1332 – Commenting on plans to pump more money into national infrastructure, Ms. Agate Freimane, Senior Investment Director BrickVest, says: ‘We welcome Mr. Hammond’s infrastructure drive to build and improve the UK’s roads, railways and broadband. Investors and businesses alike will benefit from the funding, which will trickle down to surrounding sectors such as property. Indeed, plans to fast-track scheduled projects like Crossrail 2 will in turn boost momentum in the UK’s property market as historically, areas that receive infrastructure investment typically benefit from a boost in both rental yield and capital growth. In London, for example, we’ve seen large infrastructure projects like the Night Tube having a positive impact on property prices in the last couple of years.’

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