FSB NI reacts to Spring Statement

Press Releases 23 Mar 2022

FSB NI responds to the Spring Statement issued today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Roger Pollen, Head of FSB NI said:

“It is welcome that the Chancellor has responded to FSB’s long campaign to increase the Employment Allowance from £4,000 to £5,000, and confirmation of a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty is also encouraging. However, these measures will simply not be enough to curtail the impact of the brutal cycle of rising costs which are engulfing small businesses. Soaring fuel and utility bills as well as the economic consequences of the pandemic have left many firms on the brink of collapse.”

“Of particular concern, in the same month that the Assembly finally brought in its Net Zero climate legislation, is the news that the scrapping of VAT on all energy efficiency installations will not apply to Northern Ireland because of the Protocol. This is a bitter blow for all those firms involved in the manufacture, supply, and installation of such equipment, as well as to environmentalists who will recognise how it undermines local consumers who are contemplating investing in the changes for which the Assembly has just legislated.”

“The Chancellor committed to give Stormont grant aid to the value of the VAT cut, so the Assembly must find a means to ensure the benefit is made directly available in full to consumers here so that Northern Ireland doesn’t lose the economic and environmental benefits that the rest of the UK will enjoy.”

“The Chancellor’s intention to put in place measures to grow the economy and boost productivity are welcome. Changes to NIC thresholds and treatment of some self-employed earnings thresholds are useful simplifications that will mitigate the increased levies, but there can be no denying business continues to face very difficult times on many fronts.”

Media contact

Shauna McKeown

Shauna McKeown

Head of Communications NI

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