Budget 2020 was worth £223 million to the local economy over the next 12 months.

Gravesend and surrounding area benefit in Budget 2020

Good news for the local economy as Budget 2020 delivers a much needed injection of cash for Gravesend, Dartford and the surrounding area.

It was a long time coming, but 11 March 2020 looks like it was well worth the wait for the local area with a windfall of over £665 million over the next five years - of which £223 million is expected to land in the next twelve months.

The number has been calculated by Accountants ATN Partnership after an initial analysis of the numbers announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Roughly, £97 million comes from the measures announced with respect to Coronavirus with the balance from the fiscal budget.

Niyi Idowu, Partner at ATN Partnership said:

“It was essentially two budgets, one about Coronavirus followed by the real budget or what the Chancellor referred to as the actual fiscal budget. The Chancellor was on his feet for just over an hour and as ever, only covered the big ticket items that tend to grab the headlines; we now get to wade through everything that doesn’t get announced.”

“But what is clear is that this is a massive, massive giveaway budget.  The Coronavirus measures should mean around £97 million for the area in the immediate future which breaks down as just over £49 million for Dartford and around £48 million for Gravesend. On top of this, we have calculated that the fiscal budget will be worth around £569 million to the region across the next five years which, when you look at the timing of some of the larger announcements, means around £135 million in the first year alone.”

The day started like no other Budget Day.  The Bank of England stole the show early by announcing it was slashing interest rates from what were already historic lows. It also announced significant moves to free up more money to help boost lending.

Having reduced rates to 0.25%, Lloyds Banking Group also got in on the act by being the first to announce that it would be passing the cut on, in full, to borrowers.

But the Chancellor wrestled back the headlines by pretty much reversing recent government policy to say that borrowing - lots of borrowing - is now absolutely fine.

Niyi continued:

“We have not seen a stimulus package like this for a very long time and the bulk is going to be funded by increased borrowing - the initial number looks like the Government will borrow an additional £100 billion over and above what it said it would need to borrow only a few months ago.”

Fiscal Rules

The Chancellor was clear that he was not breaking his fiscal rules, although he did announce that these would be reviewed between now and November. Crucially, however, the Coronavirus related spending is not included in those rules triggering the inevitable political debate.  

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said that the Budget represented “the biggest sustained giveaway in the last thirty years”.

Everything seemed to get some money from housing to roads, research and development to healthcare and even the Scottish Whiskey industry - perhaps most importantly, small and medium sized businesses received some significant breaks.

Niyi added:

“The increase in the National Insurance threshold and Employers Allowance were widely expected but the move to increase Business Rates Relief to 100% coupled with the grant scheme - the government actually giving money away - was a very welcome surprise as was the decision to allow SMEs to reclaim up to 14 days Statutory Sick Pay.”

As ever there are eligibility criteria wrapped around many of the announcements and ATN Partnership is encouraging anyone who is unsure about whether their business can benefit to get in touch. 

ATN has already released its Budget 2020 summary which is available free of charge by contacting the office (01474 326 224). Alternatively, visit the website;  tweet @atnpartnership or email  info@atnpartnership.co.uk.