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Spring Budget reaction from Sean Keyes, CEO of Sutcliffe

Sean Keyes, Chief Executive of Sutcliffe

The Government will have to work their magic for what will surely be the last major fiscal event before the next general election if we are going to see growth in the economy. Lower tax economies such as North America and Asia always grow faster than higher tax countries, which is what the UK needs to cure many of its ailments. Personally I will be happy to see any tax cuts that will put money back into the economy and encourage growth. Growth benefits everybody in society from businesses, pensioners, tax payers, and non-tax payers as this enables the country to spend more money on all of its services. Effectively this puts more money in the government’s coffers.

With approximately 210,000 new homes built across the UK last year, with a requirement for 300,000 I know that help for first-time buyers will be welcomed by young people, making it easier for them to get on the housing ladder, however, reducing the upfront cost of purchasing a property doesn’t solve the issue of needing to build more sustainable homes.

Young people are the start of the housing chain and so I hope the Chancellor delivers on his commitment to build houses for more young people.

As was missing in the autumn budget, I would have liked to have seen more tax breaks for SMEs as they are the backbone of the UK economy, accounting for 99.9% of all businesses. I hope that whoever is in power in the next six months introduces more favourable corporation tax rates or rewards businesses for taking on school leavers, something I am a strong believer in and think this would encourage more companies to invest in the next generation. If we can also increase public spending on housing, healthcare and education, without increasing taxation, by growing the economy, then it will boost the economy and the private sector will follow immediately. I do welcome, however, an increase in levelling up funding which is being invested in the Liverpool City Region and beyond, but this needs to be action and not words this time around.