Posted on Wednesday 18 March 2015 by Ulster Business

Budget boost for northern ireland business

George Osborne’s last Budget before the general election has offered support to employers, apprentices, small business and the creative sector in Northern Ireland.

Commentators said the Chancellor’s fiscal plans looks to be focused on growth of the business world by making tax allowances for investment and lowering business taxes.

Michael Hall, Managing Partner, EY Northern Ireland, said business could give the Budget a tentative thumbs up.

“Consistent with previous budgets and the coalition governments policy, the focus is on supporting business to drive growth in the economy and the creation of jobs, business is marginally better off on the back of today’s Budget,” he said.  “A combination of simplifying tax filings for SME’s and individuals, the NIC exemption for under 21’s and apprentices coupled with a commitment to retain increased tax relief for capital investment for businesses is welcome. “

Peter Legge, Tax Partner at Grant Thornton, Northern Ireland, agreed.

“It will enable business owners to invest in apprentices and under 21s knowing they will not be liable for national insurance contributions,” he said. “Tax relief for the creative industries will increase further, which will be welcome news for the many large scale productions that Northern Ireland hosts. 

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Office said the Budget 2015 reinforces the Government’s commitment to Northern Ireland.

It said the long-term economic plan which has secured the foundations for recovery across the UK continues to help drive economic growth and jobs in Northern Ireland.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, said both businesses and workers would benefit.

“This Government has a long-term economic plan that is working. So I strongly welcome today’s Budget Statement by the Chancellor, and particularly the additional support for business and hard-working people in Northern Ireland.

Budget at-a-glance:

Tax-free personal allowance to rise to £10,800 in 2016-2017 and £11,000 in 2017-2018

40p income tax threshold to rise to £43,300 in 2017-2018

Farmers allowed to average income over five years for tax calculation

Diverted profits to be taxed to avoid offshoring

Personal tax return to be abolished

Tax relief for creative industries to be increased

Employers won’t have to pay national insurance for apprentices and under 21s 

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