Green, open and fiscally responsible: business demands revealed ahead of Budget
UK businesses are calling on the Chancellor to focus on attracting investment back into the country as well as using incentives, rather than purely taxes, to transition to a greener economy.
Data from EY’s Budget survey revealed that two third of the 1,000-plus businesses interviewed listed attracting investments as their main priority.
However, respondents also expressed a strong need to raise revenue after a surging bill of state spending, with 56 per cent of them stating the Chancellor should be raising tax between now and next year rather than kicking it in to the long grass.
“The views of business reflect many of the challenges facing the Chancellor in his third Budget: the need to be fiscally responsible, to attract investment into the UK to drive economic growth, and to support the transition to a green economy,” said Ernest Young’s head of policy tax Chris Sanger.
Tax incentives to encourage a transition to a greener economy were also at the top of the list. “Following the recent launch of the government’s net zero strategy, the Budget could be used as an opportunity to boost the UK’s green economy and put a stake in the ground ahead of COP26 which is only days away,” he added.
“To elevate Britain’s green credentials, the Chancellor could use his speech to expand on the government’s ten-point plan and net zero strategy, to help position the UK as a global leader and an attractive destination for investment.
“That said, he may choose to keep his powder dry until the global climate conference has concluded, affording him the opportunity to make a bold statement of intent to further boost the UK’s green credentials.”
COP26 will see world leaders gather in Glasgow to discuss how to best tackle climate change. City A.M. reported that, to push its green agenda ahead of the summit, the UK Government has given savers the chance to take out green bonds via Tresury-backed savings provider NS&I’s website.
The bonds will pay a fixed annual rate of 0.65 per cent over a three year period and will be on sale for a maximum of three months.