The Builders Merchants’ Federation has described the Budget as a “steady as you go” package designed to address the fundamental financial, economic and industry challenges the UK faces – and pave the way out of recession.
Of direct relevance to members is good news on transport costs, business taxation, payroll costs, environmental tax, and buyers of newly-built homes.
BMF secretary Peter Matthews said: “Transport is often the second biggest operating cost after wages for BMF members.
“We are very pleased to hear this September’s planned rise in road fuel duty has been cancelled. The BMF welcomes this and it vindicates our efforts to campaign for this on behalf of merchants.
“We are also pleased the chancellor will freeze vehicle excise duty rates for HGVs this financial year – though VED for cars and vans will go up next month in line with the Retail Prices Index.”
On business taxation, the chancellor reduced National Insurance contributions by taking the first £2,000 off every company’s bill from April 2014.
Consequently, many SMEs will pay no NIC at all – making it easier to take on extra staff. In two years’ time, the main rate of corporation tax will drop 1 per cent to 20 per cent. The small profits’ rate will be merged with the main rate into a single rate.
Mr Matthews added: “The government is making an effort to address the housing shortfall and we welcome that. The simple fact is that, as a country, we are building fewer than half the number of homes needed to meet population, demographic and lifestyle changes.”