This week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the 2021 Autumn Budget and Spending Review in the House of Commons. Despite being heavily trailed by the media, the Budget did contain some announcements that were not anticipated. HAE EHA's Public Affairs Manager, Mark Bradshaw has highlighted some key takeaways.
The Budget speech revealed some positive points including extra support on business rates, and financing for infrastructure and ‘levelling up’, with hired plant and equipment enabling most of this development and maintenance activity. Councils will get more money for road improvements and repairs, and brownfield development is getting an additional push to provide more homes.
Missing from the Budget is any support for hire businesses (and broader construction industry) making the transition from diesel to other fuels. The removal of red diesel from construction use in April 2022 looms heavily over the sector and HMRC draft guidance has left many issues unresolved.
The majority of the sector see hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a transitional fuel in the journey to hydrogen, battery, or other power sources. Nevertheless, committing to a new fuel is expensive and has operational resource implications. Hire businesses investing in new, greener fleets are unable to make use of the super-deduction or other incentives as previously announced by the government. HAE and other industry associations continue to lobby but The Budget was silent on these matters.
While some event hire businesses may be able to obtain some of the extra support for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses hit by the lockdowns, many will not, as they are not considered part of hospitality by most local councils. This is an anomaly of the current system and one EHA will continue to press the government and the local government on, EHA members should contact their council to check eligibility rules.
Randall’s Monitoring Overview
Randall’s Monitoring has produced a comprehensive document on the Budget and Spending Review. Below are some highlights directly applicable to hire businesses:
The full overview from Randall’s Monitoring can be viewed here. There are many announcements and changes not mentioned in the speech, HAE EHA asks that members obtain professional advice on any detailed corporate matters arising from the Budget.