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What did the 2017 Spring Budget mean for private company shareholders and investors?

| Thursday March 9, 2017

As the dust settles on the final iteration of the Spring Budget, businesses and investors are left to reflect on the contents of the Chancellor’s speech. With Brexit negotiations purported to begin at the end of the month, and Philip Hammond clearly stating that the new Autumn Budget will become the Government’s foremost fiscal statement, Wednesday’s announcement failed to provide much in the way of shocks or substance.

That is not to say, however, that the Chancellor’s Budget was completely without noteworthy reforms and policies. Some of the more important elements of the speech included: the decision to reduce the tax-free dividend allowance for company directors and private shareholders from £5,000 to £2,000 as of April 2018; the allocation of £435 million to help SMEs affected by increases in business rates; and an investment of £270 million to help keep the UK at the forefront of disruptive technologies.

Elsewhere in the Budget there were more concerning oversights, such as Philip Hammond’s decision not to reform Stamp Duty taxes on UK private company share transactions. In the lead-up to the announcement, Co-CEO of Asset Match Stuart Lucas was featured in several key national and trade publications discussing the need for this to be addressed as a means of galvanising private equity investment and helping shareholders unlock the value of their equity stake in private businesses. For this reason, it is unfortunate to note that Chancellor Hammond has again failed to address Stamp Duty reform.

To round-up exactly what the policies, reforms and initiatives outlined in the Chancellor’s speech will mean for the UK’s private companies, shareholders and investors, Asset Match has produced its Spring Budget Factsheet. This timely report also pinpoints some of the issues that were not covered in the announcement and reflects on the Government’s private sector strategy as a whole.