IGA disappointed by the Spring Budget

Stuart James expresses disappointment over ‘missed opportunities'

IGA disappointed by the Spring Budget
Photo: Bigstock

Stuart James, representing the Independent Garage Association (IGA), has voiced his disappointment following the Spring Budget announcement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP on Wednesday.

The IGA CEO said: “The independent garage sector had hoped for strategic support from the Government in this critical year of change.

“Unfortunately, the Budget missed several opportunities to address key concerns. Whilst we appreciate that this budget announcement has been heavily weighted to support consumers ahead of the impending general election, it is disappointing that very little has been mentioned regarding supporting SME’s, the backbone of the UK economy.”

Key announcements/notices impacting the independent garage sector include:

Apprenticeship levy

No mention was made of apprenticeship reform.

James said: “The oversight of apprenticeship reform exacerbates the skills shortage in the independent repair sector. Simplifying the Apprenticeship Levy is crucial for recruitment and skills development.

“This is an area for concern, and following recent communication between the IGA and The Rt Hon Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, we had expected this to be addressed in the Spring Budget.”

Business rates and VAT threshold

While full expensing extends to leased assets and the VAT threshold increases to £90,000, business rates reform is again sidelined.

James said: “While we appreciate certain fiscal adjustments, the lack of business rates reform is disappointing, particularly given its adverse effects on independent repairers.”

Private EV price incentives

No mention was made of private EV price incentives.

James expressed concern, saying: “The absence of incentives for private EV buyers is concerning, as the UK falls behind other European markets.”

Fuel duty

The Chancellor maintains the 5p fuel duty cut, freezing it for an additional 12 months until March 2025.

James said: “Extending the fuel duty cut provides relief to consumers amidst global instability. However, more comprehensive support is needed to navigate ongoing challenges.”

In conclusion, James said: “The Spring Budget missed opportunities to support the SME Sector as a whole and address the skills gap in the industry, delaying the intake of young apprentices actively seeking employment.

”We hope to hear more from the overnment on these important issues in the coming weeks.”

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