Sajid Javid

2020 Budget date announced: what is the specialist finance industry hoping for?

Chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid has confirmed that the next Budget will take place on Wednesday 11th March 2020.

“With this Budget, we will unleash Britain’s potential — uniting our great country, opening a new chapter for our economy and ushering in a decade of renewal,” said Javid.

The chancellor said the Budget would prioritise the environment and investment across the UK.

Paresh Raja, CEO at MFS, commented: “The 2020 Budget is an opportunity not to be wasted. 

“Urgent reform is needed, guided by a vision that looks beyond Brexit and addresses the domestic challenges the UK currently faces.”

Paresh added that he’d like to see the Budget address stamp duty reform and the housing crisis.

“We know [the housing crisis] will be an issue raised by the chancellor — it always is. 

“But instead of just focusing on new-build constructions and setting ever higher targets for these, I believe the government must introduce more creative initiatives to ensure we increase the amount of housing available across the UK.”

Gavin Seaholme, head of sales at Shawbrook, stated: “We are interested to see whether stamp duty land tax for additional homes will feature in the upcoming Budget. 

“We hope that the government will provide more homes to combat the increasing cost of living and growth, while also supporting the private rented sector.”

"I’d like to see government tackle the issues that face the housing market head on and with conviction," said Charles McDowell, managing director of specialist mortgages at Hampshire Trust Bank. 

"We need to build more homes and the current planning process is archaic and unhelpful in achieving this goal.

"To help jump start the housing market, stamp duty needs to be cut across the wider market and to ensure it moves at all levels: cuts to transaction taxes are a nice fillip for the market."

James Anderson, operations director at MT Finance, added: “Although we want to see strong investment in the NHS and social care as well as the environment, high priority must be given to housebuilding and redevelopment in many towns and cities across the UK. 

“We want to see strong signals sent to [businesses] that now is the time to invest and to give the people who grow the economy the confidence to do so.”

Jonathan Sealey, CEO at Hope Capital, explained that there would inevitably be a lot of attention given to “whatever rabbits are pulled out of the chancellor’s hat” on Budget day, but felt that, over the years, too many housing initiatives had been announced and then fallen away.

“What we would like to see is the chancellor and the government as a whole committing to a serious long-term approach to housing that isn’t just about big developers.”

Jonathan added that financial help for small-scale builders and developers would boost the housing supply and rebalance the economy by providing local employment.

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