As the dust settles on the Budget, we take a quick look at some of the aspects which might impact on the creative and media sector in the North.
The first thing to notice is a feeling of deja vu – some of today’s announcements have a very familiar ring to them if you take a look back at the previous Budget announcement.
Perhaps that’s not surprising given it was only four months ago that the chancellor stood outside with the country’s most famous briefcase.
There was, of course, more talk of the ‘northern powerhouse’ in a speech which did seemed to shrink the ‘North’ to exclude Teesside and Tyneside.
George Osbourne said there would be more devolution for places which accepted elected mayors.
Cities and counties in the North will be given even more control over local transport. Transport for the North (TfN) will be supported by £30 million in funding over three years, and will have more responsibility for setting out policy and investments.
From the last Budget – the government is to consult on the tax relief for local newspapers proposals to help an industry which it believes are still a vital part of community life.
Aside from the headline grabbing changes to the minimum wage and benefits, there’s raft of changes to the way business taxes are structured.
The first reaction we’ve received was from a Manchester-based web design agency and SME, Evolutia and welcomed what was perceived as an ‘easing off’ from austerity.
Founder Dave Bowers said: “The Chancellor’s decision to slow down the pace of deficit cuts, and easing off the austerity measures at least for the next 18 months, should not only give Public Sector organisations some room to manoeuvre, but will be welcome news for the many SMEs – especially in the creative sector – which rely on councils, the NHS and other organisations for their income.
“As an SME, we will have to do some recalculations as a result of the announcement on living wage, but this is offset by some of the pro-business tax measures.
“With regards to the Northern Powerhouse, George Osborne is taking almost personal responsibility to ensure this scheme delivers results. The idea to introduce an Oyster style ticketing system across the North is interesting, especially in our industry, a sector that relies on a level of fluid expert workers commuting between the large city centres, and I look forward to see the details on this. However, this will be of little use if key infrastructure projects across the North are put on hold.”
* What did you think of the Budget? If you’ve had chance to absorb what it means for your business, let us know in the comments below.