A .C .MOL E & SONS
S P R I N G 2 0 1 7
There will be a second Budget later in the
year in which further tax measures can be
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)
has revised its growth predictions to 1.8%
for 2016, 2.0% in 2017, and 1.6% in 2018
before rising to 1.7% in 2019 and 1.9% in
2020. There remains significant uncertainty
over the likely impact of Brexit.
CPI inflation was 0.7% in 2016 and is
forecast to rise to 2.4% in 2017 and then to
fall back to 2.3% in 2018 before stabilising
The deficit – the amount by which the
government’s annual expenditure exceeds
its income – is now expected to be £51.7
billion for 2016/17, £58.3 billion in 2017/18,
£40.8 billion in 2018/19 and £21.4 billion in
2019/20. Deficits are also forecast for
2020/21 and 2021/22 of £20.6 billion and
These borrowing figures are lower than
forecast in last year’s Autumn Statement,
but significantly higher than predicted at the
time of the 2016 Budget.
Philip Hammond delivered his
first Budget on 8 March 2017
In the news
We received extensive press coverage of our
Budget predictions and analysis, including
three interviews with tax partner Paul Aplin on
BBC Radio Somerset, BBC Radio Devon and
quotes in the Financial Times and Somerset
County Gazette. Associate Rob Selley has
also been quoted in Farmer’s Weekly and
elsewhere in the farming press on the impact
Making Tax Digital will have on the farming
You can follow Paul and Rob on Twitter for
their latest thinking on tax and farming issues:
Cyber security is one of the most important
topics we find ourselves discussing with
clients at present.
In the last edition of Proactive we highlighted
the importance of using strong passwords and
of changing them periodically. In February we
co-hosted a cyber security event in Taunton
with a Bank of England IT security specialist
who reinforced the importance of password
Most security breaches are down to human
error and poor password security rather than
With the advent of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital
(MTD) programme (on which there is an
update on page three) this will become an ever
more important issue. Aside from the MTD
project, we are seeing more and more clients
opting to use cloud based software and apps
to keep their business records and to give
access to up to date information for increased
efficiency and control.
You can find more on cyber security at www.icaew.com/en/technical/information-
If you would like to explore the potential
offered by apps and cloud based software,
please contact Lexi Shore or Charles Chandler
who head our Business Solutions team. They
can be contacted on 01823 624450 firstname.lastname@example.org
Our dedicated Business Solutions
website is at www.acmolebusinesssolutions.co.uk/.
No date has been set for achieving a
surplus, though the Chancellor still aspires
to return the public finances to surplus “as
soon as possible in the next Parliament”.
The Budget Red Book again highlights the
UK’s relatively poor productivity, which
remains well below the average for the G7.
This has been a persistent problem in recent
years and one that the government is aiming
to tackle through various initiatives including
the new “T Level” exams to boost skills.
The national debt is now forecast to reach
£1,725 billion this year and to hit £1,952
billion – just short of £2 trillion – in 2021/22.
Against this economic background the
Chancellor had very little room for
manoeuvre. The measures he set out are
described on pages two and three.
The greatest uncertainty facing the
Chancellor and the UK economy is
undoubtedly Brexit. On page four we look at
how this may affect the farming community.