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BMF backs business-friendly Autumn Statement

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has welcomed the Chancellor’s overhaul of the Stamp Duty and the doubling of the Small Business Rate Relief for a further year.
In his Autumn Statement, George Osborne revealed the Stamp Duty will be cut for 98% of homebuyers with immediate effect.

He said the current system, where the amount owed jumps at certain price levels, would be replaced by a graduated rate, working in a similar way to income tax.

BMF managing director, John Newcomb, said: “Moving away from the current slab system which punishes anyone buying a property for one penny over the tax threshold, to a system of marginal rates that will operate in a similar way to income tax is much fairer.

“This will undoubtedly benefit the vast majority of home-buyers and those supplying the house-building and home-improvement markets.”

Newcomb added they were pleased to see the Chancellor committing to double Small Business Rate Relief for another year, with the promise of a full review, and to cap the annual increase in Business Rates at 2% for the 2015/16 financial year.

He said: “The retention and extension of several business support schemes will also help our industry as firms take long term investment decisions, for example no Employer’s NI contributions on apprentices aged under 25, and no rises in Fuel Duty.

“The guarantee of up to £500m of new bank lending to SMEs via the British Business Bank, and the extension of the Funding for Lending scheme for another year with a fresh focus on smaller firms are also welcome initiatives that should benefit builders merchants and their customers.”

However, Newcomb voiced his concern over Osborne’s stance on VAT.

“The Chancellor once again missed the opportunity to introduce a reduced 5% rate on all building RMI work, which would have a major impact on releasing pent up consumer demand in this sector.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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