Viewers of Channel 4 News were treated to an expert panel on the evening of Conservative Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget Announcement. Amongst this panel was our very own Iqbal Bahia, MD of Kirkstall Precision Engineering.
Discussing some points from the budget, Iqbal highlighted how Kirkstall Precision would definitely be looking at taking advantage of the incentive for investment which means a reduction on taxable profits. This will enable manufacturing companies like Kirkstall to remain competitive on a local, national, and international stage and mitigate the planned rise in corporation tax from 19% to 25% on taxable profits over £250,000.
However, smaller businesses will have concerns as traditionally smaller businesses, with less access to capital, are more likely to lease or buy second-hand plant & machinery, and these are excluded from the announced scheme’s benefit.
Iqbal also discussed the proposal to get retirees back into the world of work by pointing out how the focus also has to be on encouraging young people into the manufacturing sector. He stated that with older professionals encouraged to return to work to share skills, the problem that it highlights is that there are not enough young people entering sectors such as manufacturing to share these skills with.
As with most budgets there are ideas and proposals that are indeed worth celebrating but there are also still questions to be answered on such things as the journey to Net Zero and helping young people into the world of work through such things as apprenticeships.
Like most businesses we are pleased to see the Chancellor announce policies which will further strengthen levelling up in the nations and regions. But budget does little to tackle the real and immediate threat manufacturers face with rocketing energy bills. While the current energy support scheme has reduced bills overall, the incoming scheme is unlikely to be triggered, leaving many companies with energy bill worries.
Overall, it’s a budget that has some positives but it also does raise a few concerns that we will monitor closely as the year progresses.
You can watch the full interview below: