Autumn Statement ‘shows Government’s love affair with creative industries’

Business experts say measures in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement demonstrate that the Government’s continuing ‘love affair’ with the creative industries.


Osborne introduced a number of tax credits for animation, alongside films and high-end TV production. These include an extension of credit under the film scheme.

A statement from accountant Kingston Smith W1 says, ‘The Government’s “love affair” with the creative sectors shows no sign of abating.’

The Chancellor also unveiled a number of measures aimed at supporting small businesses, including extending the small business rate relief scheme and creating an additional 50 000 start-up loans for entrepreneurs.

Osborne also doubled the export finance capacity to £50 billion to help UK firms sell abroad, and introduced a reoccupation relief for vacant town centre shops, to encourage the revitalisation of the High Street.

These measures were met with cautious optimism from business experts.

John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation for British Industry, says, ‘The pressure on the high street has been recognised; the 2 per cent cap on business rates and discount for very small businesses are positive, as is the reoccupation relief.

‘As we enter the festive season, positive news on growth is clearly welcome, but much remains to be done if the benefits of economic recovery are to reach every home in every corner of the UK.’

Kingston Smith W1 partner Paul Samrah says, ‘I welcome the extension to small business rates relief, as well as the below inflation rise in business rates. These measures, together with encouragement for businesses taking over vacant shops, are all good news.

‘However, a review of the whole business rates system is well overdue. 2017 can’t come soon enough, especially as the High Street is fast becoming an array of charity and pound shops. Significant steps still have to be taken to re-energise the High Street, in the face of online shopping.’

Garden Bridge

• The Government’s National Infrastructure Plan, unveiled earlier this week, pledged £30 million towards the construction of Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge plan in London. The remainder of the budget will come from Transport for London and private donations.

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