This week’s poll: 2016 spring Budget

What measures would you like to see Philip Hammond introduce in the Budget to help industry, engineering and manufacturing?

Tomorrow, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will deliver the first full Budget of Theresa May’s government, and the first since the Brexit referendum. As usual, we would like to know what engineer readers believe would be the most effective measure he could bring in to help support the industries that we cover.

We are basing our suggested response options on comments we have received from industry bodies over the past few days. It’s been widely linked that Hammond plans to pump money into education, including introducing a new set of technical and engineering-focused qualifications for 16 to 18-year-olds that may be known as T-levels. But to help industry in particular, tweaks to the tax regime to help offset possible harmful repercussions of our exit from the European Union have been suggested. As usual, we would like to know which of these measures would have the biggest effect, which is why we are not offering all of the above as an option. Tax incentives for companies to adopt new technology, or an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance above £200,000 per year for new machinery, could help improve productivity and drive efficiency; simplification of the criteria for the R&D tax credit scheme, as well as improving publicity about how it can work for companies, could also improve productivity, it has been suggested. A planned cut in corporation tax to 17% could be brought forward from its current announced date of 2020 to help protect manufacturing jobs. Also, some companies have called for clarification on the apprenticeship levy to demonstrate that it is not an admission of burden of little or no benefit.

Comments are welcome, and particularly useful if you have chosen the ‘None of the Above’ option. We will show the results of this poll on this page on 14 March.

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