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Awards 2024
John Grainger

What does the 2024 Budget mean for BECBC Members?

The Budget of March 24 had its usual early leaks about how the Chancellor was deliberating so it was no surprise when there were few headline decisions that had not already been signalled.

The cutting of National Insurance and reduction in higher marginal taxes has derived some benefits for the middling incomes and working families. The closing of the non-dom loophole, well flagged by Labour for over a year as their early budget target, so the Chancellor stole the Emperor's clothes in this one.

Not shifting the income tax thresholds was a disappointment, but means that more revenues will flow in to the Exchequer

The raising of the VAT threshold to £90,000 will offer some relief to our smaller SMEs in Cluster membership, pending perhaps a more thorough review in the future. The newly renamed Growth Guarantee Scheme will be a financial lifeline for businesses still getting back on track as economic growth has shown a less than steady return to pre-COVID levels.

But the biggest headline for BEC Business Cluster members were the announcements regarding new nuclear development. The U.K. Government has announced the purchase of the Wylfa site in Anglesey from Hitachi, and the Oldbury site in South Gloucestershire. SMR developments at both of these sites would signal a nuclear renaissance and shore up the energy security of our nation as larger reactors come to the end of their natural life. This coincides with the next phase of the SMR selection process. As a community where the phrase " social licence to operate " is perhaps most valid in the U.K. we must be forthright in our support for such developments on or adjacent to the Moorside site in West Cumbria. In the meantime our supply chain, already buoyed by the Sizewell announcement in Suffolk and the Community Power investment in North Tees will now be alerted to the opportunity to engage with these new announcements as they lay plans for the next two decades.

So all to play for and opportunity awaits.

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