Well the Budget certainly looks good at the headline level. But as you and I know it’s how it actually works that determines whether or not it actually makes a difference. I think this one will produce more headaches.
We’ve had government guarantees before so I’m still underwhelmed by the guarantee of mortgage borrowing. The EFG was meant to get SMEs and their lenders out of their own problems but so far have produced next to nothing- lenders look behind the borrower for security even though the guarantee from the Government is meant to be the security, because, er the Government will only pay out if the lender has made sure that it has grabbed all available security!
And whilst some assistance with employment and childcare are desirable (and have both previously been advocated here) I don’t think that playing around the edges does very much.
• Childcare costs have been increasing over the years, largely as a result of regulation as to the numbers of carers per child, their quality, Criminal Records checks and other safety measures. Now we are being offered £1,200 to help defray this. Unless supply can increase the number of carers then the £1,200 will end up in the hands of the providers or their employers not the parents.
• The employers won’t turn £2,000 down, although their bookkeepers will get a headache, with another thing to consider whilst implementing RTI. But a general refund is little more than a sop, which some may call a bribe, but I certainly couldn’t. A targeted boost to new employees, including the founders, which was sort of launched in 2010 but ignored the South east, where many jobs are created, was useful and could have been expanded. The desire to meddle in order to create “news” seems too strong.
We still need co-ordinated action that reflects the realities of the economy in which we work and that benefits those it’s aimed at. Yet again I fear that these bits and pieces will turn from headlines to headaches, whilst I get a splitting migraine from looking for the detail to the headline that promises a five fold increase on SME procurement (so far I have found four references to the word procurement in the Budget document but nothing about spending with SMEs).
Still I guess I can go and have a cheaper pint whilst I consider another SEIS investment and wonder if I will see any benefit in my unit trust charges from the removal of stamp duty on AIM shares. Now how much, to the penny, is that pint?
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