On 23 March 2011, I woke up with a spring in my step, the sun was shining, but more importantly, it was BUDGET DAY!! Sitting on the train on the way into work, it hit me that I was actually really excited about the day ahead.
In my University days, I would usually watch the news and listen to the budget headlines, but I felt that it would never have an impact upon my life. However, since I have moved into the Entrepreneurial and Private Client Service team, some months ago, I have witnessed the significance of budget day and the importance it can have upon our clients.
At 12:30 (well 12:15 actually as we wanted a good seat) we all went down to one of the meeting rooms to watch the budget speech live from Westminster. The main announcements of the budget had already been leaked, but there was a definite sense of anticipation in the air, as we waited to see if the Chancellor was to deliver any unexpected surprises.
The speech lasted 56 minutes and 18 seconds, and surprised us all as the longest time picked in our sweepstake was about 48 minutes! In addition to the major tax announcements the speech was full of a few other little humorous highlights such as William Hague’s tie, and Ken Clarkes apparent inability to stay awake during one of the major televised political events of the year.
The Chancellor expressed that this was a “Budget for growth”, and was his attempt to put “fuel in the tank of the British Economy”. The coalition government delivered a budget that was aimed at promoting Entrepreneurial spirit (through the increase in Entrepreneurs relief), providing Companies with assistance (by reducing Corporation tax rates and increasing Research and Development relief) and trying to ease the strain on the general public (by increasing the Personal Allowance).
As well as these headline announcements, there are also much more technical details that are due to change which will impact upon our clients. There is draft legislation in place regarding disguised remuneration, planned consultation in the summer regarding the taxation of non-domiciles, and reform of the Controlled Foreign Companies legislation.
We have published a news article with a more in depth look at the various changes announced (http://gtgjellybeans.tinderfields.net/traineeblog/news-post/2011-budget-summary-points/).
After the Budget speech it was a case of constantly hitting F5 on the keyboard to try and access the HMRC and Treasury department documents. These are the documents that expand on the announcements made and provide more technical detail. Once we had obtained these, it was the team’s job to read through and identify any key issues and any changes that could possibly impact upon our clients.
The final part of our day was spent drafting press releases which enable us to comment on the Chancellors announcements and explain how they are going to impact upon the general public. I always fancied a career as a journalist as a child (possibly a product of watching too much Clark Kent), so loved the chance to try my hand at a bit of reporting.
The 23 March 2011 proved to be an eventful day that definitely stands out as one of my most enjoyable at Grant Thornton.
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