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Higgs' tax expert analyses latest Autumn Statement survey


Article date:  23/11/2016

Both the young and old were high on the agenda for respondents to Higgs & Sons' latest poll on the hopes and expectations arising from Phillip Hammonds' first significant speech as Chancellor.

The survey asked representatives from some of the region's businesses including banks, accountants, independent financial  advisers and existing clients a series of questions relating to tomorrow's Autumn Statement.

The most significant response was to the question 'Which tax would you like to be reviewed with a view to a reduction in rate' with 70  per cent  of respondents identifying Inheritance Tax as the area they would most like to see the Chancellor address.

Respondents said they would also like to see action taken to help those at the other end of the age spectrum with 67 per cent of those polled stating they would like to see further tax reliefs introduced to encourage the employment of 18-25 year olds.

Other results seemed to show a cautious optimism about the economy despite the ongoing uncertainty of what the UK's Brexit strategy may eventually look like with a 50-50 split on the question 'Would Brexit have a significant impact on the UK's tax system'.

And when it came to the level of taxation in the UK, there appeared to be a variation of opinion. When asked if they felt UK taxation was excessive, the majority (51 per cent) felt that it was not excessive, however 70 per cent answered positively to the question 'Do you believe a reduction in taxation would attract more people to the UK and therefore increase revenue?'.

"Tomorrow's autumn statement is coming at a fascinating time for the UK economy," comments Adam Rollason, tax adviser at Higgs & Sons solicitors. "There is a degree of uncertainty of what our post Brexit strategy will be, however the respondents to our survey seemed to be cautiously optimistic. 

"In terms of actions, there was a clear focus on encouraging young people into the workforce in order to stimulate the economy, whilst supporting those who had already made a contribution, through a reduction in Inheritance Tax, was also identified as an important measure for the Chancellor to consider.

"It will be fascinating to see what happens today."

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