Thursday, 9 July 2015

Budget – a quick review

There appears little to shout about from George Osborne’s Emergency Budget for those businesses in the built-environment, with the exception of reducing Corporation Tax by one per cent to 19 per cent in 2017 and 18 per cent in 2020.

Much was made of support for the Northern Powerhouse, despite the Chancellor recently postponing the electrification of the TransPennine rail line between Manchester and Leeds, and a move towards more City Deals with the regionals. 

However, there appeared little, if any, reference to support for the South East. One possible exception related to extending the number of Enterprise Zones, which is good news for Discovery Park and Betteshanger Sustainable Parks – but this support is not a new announcement. 

Once again the challenge for those responsible for the economic development of the South East is how to get the politicians and mandarins in Whitehall to understand the case for support for the region’s infrastructure and skills.

Announcements of policy changes, in terms of planning reforms, are expected to be made on Friday, with rumours that local authorities will be put under greater pressures to finalise their Local Plans, and Permitted Development Rights will be extended. These will follow on recent changes to the planning environment for onshore wind farms which look set to hinder the drive towards renewable energy supply.

At the heart of the Government’s announcements later this week will certainly be measures to help it deliver on its promise to increase the level of new house building during this parliament. 

Given the proposed one per cent cut in rents in social changes, and Conservative manifesto pledge over the Right to Buy, the housing association community will be keeping an eager eye out for any property-related announcements later in the week. 

Watch this space.

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