BSA Comment: Budget 2015
- BSA staff
- 16 Mar 2015
Over the last few years we have seen a growth in the economy which has been of benefit to businesses across the United Kingdom, both large and small. The 2015 Budget offers further opportunity to strengthen the recovery.
The Business Services sector has provided a valuable and sustained contribution to the UK’s economic recovery, but further changes will need to be made to economic policy if we are to make a real impact in reducing the country’s deficit. The BSA is clear on what needs to be changed in order to make this happen.
In relation to the European Commission’s ongoing consultation, the Government should push, via the Council of Ministers, for quick reform of the VAT treatment of public bodies to ensure a level playing field between all types of provider delivering public services.
The Construction Industry Scheme should be abolished or significantly reformed to focus on those cash payments to natural persons which cannot otherwise be verified.
The Office for Tax Simplification has done good work on reforming the tax arrangements around employee expenses and benefits, and we would encourage further simplification of this regime.
New capital allowances for infrastructure should be introduced to encourage business investment. The processes by which plants and machinery are taxed need to be reformed in order to encourage investment in new energy efficiency infrastructure across the private and public estates.
Opportunities for the private sector to take on the delivery of public services will likely increase, regardless of who is in government after May. Businesses in this area will need to continue to cooperate and respond to ever increasing public interest in them, something which the BSA has looked at closely with its members and will continue to going forward.
Our sector has been a major contributor to the improvement of the economy. Our members are part of an industry which employs nearly 10% of the UK workforce and has the second biggest global contracted business services market in the world. This is likely to continue to flourish in the coming years as the Government looks to further improve efficiency in public services.
We are doing well economically. Growth is strong, but is important that changes are implemented to ensure further growth and development in the Business Services sector, and all businesses with a stake in the UK economy. The BSA will continue to work with members to stimulate discussions and bring forward ideas to aid improvements.