ICAEW calls on Chancellor to ‘improve productivity’ in forthcoming Budget

In a formal letter addressed to Chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of his Budget announcements on 8 March, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is calling for changes to a number of upcoming reforms.

ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza has stressed that Mr Hammond must put “productivity” at the forefront of the Spring Budget, and consider extending the timetables for imminent reforms such as Making Tax Digital (MTD) and the Apprenticeship Levy.

The ICAEW’s letter describes the Spring Budget as “an historic opportunity to put productivity [and] growth at the heart of policy-making to ensure long-term prosperity beyond Brexit”.

It suggests that the Government should offer additional support to small businesses in the form of ‘export vouchers’ to incentivise exporting and reduce upfront costs. The letter states that such vouchers would work in the same way that successful ‘Growth Vouchers’ have done previously.

Of forthcoming reforms such as MTD, it adds: “Concerns over the time commitment required from a growing compliance list, or the confusion caused by the sheer churn in new regulation, all create an environment which does not incentivise the kinds of productivity-enhancing investment the Government wants businesses to carry out”.