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Five key things to take away from the budget for North Wales

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. Growth deals for Mid and North Wales
 
The Chancellor promised progress on growth deals for Mid and North Wales. FSB has been working closely with the North Wales Business Council and the North Wales Economic Ambition Board for some time to develop a comprehensive bid for a North Wales Growth Deal designed to enhance and protect the North Wales’ economy.  We now look to the Government to carefully consider these proposals and reach a quick decision on implementing the Growth Deal to ensure the future prosperity and grow the potential of smaller firms in North Wales.
 
3. Support for housebuilders
 
The Chancellor signalled a package of measures to promote housebuilding in Wales, and said that he wanted to stimulate SME house building. Much of this area is devolved in Wales, but with the Welsh Government looking to receive money through the Barnett formula (see below) FSB Wales will be looking to see how this could support small construction firms in North Wales.
 
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.