Portfolio Budget Feature - David Craine
The Treasury Minister’s 2016 budget provided some benefit for local residents in times of financial constraints on the Government. Continuing the policy of protecting the vulnerable by ensuring those on a lower income have no tax to pay, Mr Teare has increased personal allowances by £1,000, reducing tax bills for many and taking a further 2,000 people out of the tax system.
I am pleased to see the Government is considering a proposed Government Bond as it will hopefully give local savers a better return than they can presently achieve with the banks and building societies. In addition the Government Bond will help raise funds for capital projects.
I believe that the Land Development Holiday Tax will benefit certain local businesses by offering them tax exemption for up to five years on commercial developments. In some ways it will help offset the increase of tax from 10% to 20% on Manx land which had been opposed by many local developers.
Pensioners will be pleased with the 2.9% increase in the basic state pension, and of course, the additional £5 per week for those on income support. Mr Teare is continuing to protect the most vulnerable in our society. The private pension provision for smaller valued pension schemes is also to be welcomed.
This certainly was not a giveaway budget but I acknowledge Mr Teare did not have a lot in his treasure chest to give away. From a local perspective, the Government’s policy for protecting the lower paid in society whilst still maintaining a fixed medium term objective of re-balancing the books has been achieved.
There is still however, a lot of uncertainty out there!