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Terry Murden, Editor


Area sees surge in activity

Leith Agency relocates to commercial hub

A creative consultancy has acquired office space in the heart of a revitalised area of Leith.

Autumn Budget

Hammond puts Mackay on spot over tax cuts

Budget logo

Philip Hammond handed Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay a double challenge of matching cuts in income tax and the cost of buying a home in England.

Budget: Business taxes and reliefs

VAT threshold unchanged as R&D tax credit raised

Pure li-fi

Fears that the Chancellor would lower the VAT threshold for businesses were dismissed as he announced there would be no change to the current level of £85,000 “for two years”. There had been strong hints that Mr Hammond would reduce the rate at which VAT is paid, prompting wide concern, particularly among the small business community. He said he had listened to the FSB and was “not minded to reduce the threshold”. There had been speculation Mr Hammond would bring the threshold in line with other European countries. He said:Read More

Budget: Motoring

Diesel owners to expect tax penalties

fuel duty cars

Diesel car owners are to be hit with further tax increases if their car doesn’t meet the required standards. Vehicle Excise Duty will rise, meaning those cars that are not up to scratch on fuel emissions will go up one band and the existing diesel supplement in Company Car Tax will increase by one percentage point. However, Philip Hammond was keen to highlight “no white van man or woman will be hit by these measures,” as it’ll only apply to cars. But car finance expert Graham Hill was sceptical aboutRead More

Budget: Alcohol and tobacco

Drinks spared duty hike, but smokers hit

Loch Ness Brewery 1

Drinkers were spared a further hike in alcohol duties but smokers are set to be further out of pocket

Budget: Scottish consequentials

City deals ‘progress’ as Scots funding rises

Stirling Castle VS

Progress is being made on city deals for Tay Cities and Stirling, and on a growth deal for the Borderlands, said the Chancellor. He confirmed a further £2 billion will be allocated to the Scottish government as a result of Budget decisions. There is £1.2bn more for the Welsh Government and £650m more for the Northern Ireland Executive. Scotland’s finance secretary, Derek Mackay – who will unveil his own draft budget in December – said it was “money with strings attached” which could not be spent “directly on frontline publicRead More

Budget: savings & pensions

Relief as pensions escape further tinkering

A decision to leave pensions tax reliefs untouched gave some relief to the industry though there are expectations of further change to come. Sara Wilson, head of platform proposition at Alliance Trust Savings, said: “It seems the Chancellor has bigger political fish to fry than savers and investors right now. “In many ways that’s a good thing but we still think a structural change to pensions tax relief could be on the cards for future budgets. “It’s expensive for the Government to maintain and benefits for higher earners (broadly, those earningRead More

Budget: Oil and gas

‘Innovative’ energy tax policy welcomed

Brent oil field

Chancellor Philip Hammond has pledged to introduce transferable tax history for the oil and gas sector in a move designed to attract fresh investment. The measure, which Mr Hammond described as an ‘innovative’ policy, will allow purchasers to claim back a slice of the decommissioning costs and is intended to make the more mature oil and gas fields a more appealing proposition to potential purchasers. The policy will come into place in 12 months’ time in November 2018 and Mr Hammond said: “It is an innovative tax policy that willRead More

Budget: Personal taxes

Income tax threshold dilemma for Mackay

Income tax own pic

The tax-free personal allowance will rise to £11,850 in April and the higher rate to £46,350, putting added pressure on the Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay when he delivers his Budget next month. The increase in the higher rate announced by Mr Hammond in March was not passed on to Scottish employees and this latest rise will pose a further dilemma for the Holyrood government. Mr Hammond also announced a rise to the National Living Wage from April. It will be increased 4.4% from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 –Read More

Budget: Economy

Economy expected to slow over three years

scottish economy

Britain’s economy continues to grow and confound those who seek to talk it down, said Chancellor Philip Hammond, though he was forced to admit that growth is slowing. Delivering his second Budget he said Britain was facing a new relationship Europe which was full of change, full of challenges and full of new opportunities. The chancellor said the UK is working “to achieve a deep and special partnership” with Europe and to ensure the country is ready for every outcome of Brexit negotiations. He is setting aside another £3 billionRead More