Autumn Statement unveils modest growth plans

Vishal Chopra, Head of Tax for Scotland KPMG, photo credit Mike Wilkinson

IN reaction to the Autumn Statement, Vishal Chopra, Head of Tax for KPMG UK in Scotland, provided insights into the outlined measures designed to stimulate economic growth. Described as a prelude to a more attention-grabbing spring budget, the statement presented 110 growth measures, including permanent full expensing for capex and initiatives addressing planning red tape, supporting entrepreneurs, attracting foreign direct investment, and reducing business taxes.

Chopra welcomed these measures, stating, “Businesses will welcome Hunt’s 110 new growth measures, including making full expensing for capex permanent and others designed to remove planning red tape, support entrepreneurs, unlock foreign direct investment, and cut business taxes.”

While acknowledging the cuts to National Insurance rates for workers and the self-employed, Chopra emphasised that most announcements comprised minor adjustments. He noted that National Insurance rates, centrally controlled by Westminster, might impact the working population in Scotland, which already experiences higher income tax rates.

Chopra expressed anticipation regarding the Scottish Budget on December 19, saying, “Eyes now shift to Holyrood and the impending Scottish Budget on December 19. Questions will be asked about potential cuts to both personal and business taxes, and whether Scotland will introduce any similar cuts and growth measures in devolved areas.”

The full impact of changes to the UK’s R&D tax regimes, set to merge into one with lower access thresholds, is yet to be determined. As businesses await further clarity, the effectiveness of the outlined measures in collectively jumpstarting the economy remains to be seen. The statement is seen as laying the groundwork for a more impactful spring budget, aligning with a recovering economy and an approaching General Election.

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