It is bitter sweet for those who like to have a can of pop or two this week as our Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne has presented his Budget to Parliament.
Osborne announced that a tax will be implemented on soft drinks to try and curb the consumption of sugary drinks but importantly it will be used to double the primary PE and sport premium (the additional money schools have to spend on PE and sports) to £320 million a year – hopefully reducing the rate of childhood obesity.
Whether or not this levy will have the desired impact in the long term, one will have to wait and see. However, I do believe that it is a good idea that the tax will be used to boost sports in schools – how can that be a bad thing?
In addition to the soft drinks tax, The Budget 2016 has stimulated discussions on other topical issues within the news at the moment.
For instance, Osborne addressed BREXIT in his budget by commenting that “the UK would be safer, stronger and more secure staying in the EU”... which echoes the thoughts of Prime Minister David Cameron. Time will tell the outcome of this huge debate when the general public hits the polls in the next two months.
But, my real interest within the 2016 Budget lies in the economy and the growth of jobs or the lack of growth it may seem...
Osborne spoke about ‘cloudy skies’ and ‘cocktail of risk’ and this must relate to the European economy which has been shaky for the last 2 -3 years.
In the recruitment world we are optimistic that after a slow start to the year we will see a warming on the job front as we are entering the 2nd Quarter but it is fair to say that the Banks have largely been cautious in their hiring trends so far this year.
The good news here is that Corporation tax will be cut to 17% by 2020 so this will add a smile to the face of those in business who have cried poor over the current tax rates and seemingly lack of support to the city.
Unfortunately George Osborne has stated the growth rate forecast has been reduced for the next 5 years and the volatility that has started in 2016 seems here to stay.
Despite this my spies in the recruitment market have told me a number of the banks are holding bank on their budgets and we will see this move come on March 31st. Fingers crossed this holds true? Was there some positive signs in the budget for you?