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Five key points to take away from the budget

1. The VAT threshold will NOT be changed
 
Despite speculation over the weeks leading up to the budget, the Chancellor chose not to lower the VAT threshold, which would have included many more businesses into the VAT scheme. He has instead chosen to freeze it for the next two years, thanks to listening to the concerns of the FSB. FSB has now called on the Chancellor to use the next two years to look at how we can simplify a tax that many small businesses spend a week every year complying with, and which is characterised as being cumbersome and complex.
 
2. No answer on a Tidal Lagoon for Swansea in the budget
 
Despite repeated calls by FSB Wales and the business community across Wales, the Chancellor did not take the opportunity to provide a decision on a Tidal Lagoon for Swansea. The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon has been in the planning for several years now, and was the subject of a very positive review undertaken by Charles Hendry earlier in 2017. Tidal Lagoon Power made an early commitment to a locally-based supply chain for the project, which has regenerative potential for the Swansea Bay area. It is time for the UK Government to green-light the project so that businesses across South West Wales can take advantage of the opportunities offered by this project. 
 
3. Devolution of Air Passenger Duty didn’t take off
 
Another call from FSB Wales was for the UK Government to devolve Air Passenger Duty (APD) to Wales. This would enable Wales to market Cardiff Airport as even more of a driver of economic growth and would enable us to become even more competitive on the international stage. The Chancellor did announce a review into the impact of VAT and APD on tourism in Northern Ireland, and we will be calling for the same to happen in Wales so that we can have a real conversation about what devolution of APD could mean for Welsh businesses.
 
4. Business rates on the move?
 
The Chancellor announced several changes to the business rates scheme in England that will be good news for businesses over the bridge. He announced that revaluations would happen more regularly (on a three yearly basis), that the staircase tax would be tackled, and that the move from RPI to CPI would be brought forwards by two years. In Wales, these issues are devolved to the Welsh Government and we are calling on them to look closely at these reforms and look at how the measures announced today could be implemented in a way that benefits businesses in Wales.
 
5. What is a Barnett consequential and what does it mean for businesses in Wales?
 
The Chancellor announced £1.2billion in Barnett Consequential for Wales. Barnett is the funding formula that allocates how much money the Chancellor must give to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, based on the amount of money that the treasury spends each year. Out of the spending in this years’ budget, Wales is allocated £1.2billion. With the Welsh Government’s Economic Delivery Plan due to be announced soon, FSB Wales will be looking to see that some of this money is put towards delivering an ambitious economic plan for Wales.