Chancellor Must Use Budget to Give Family Businesses Confidence to Invest in the Future – Starting with Maintaining BPR

The Institute for Family Business (IFB) is calling on the Chancellor to use his Budget on Wednesday to create an environment that gives family businesses the confidence to invest in future growth.

Reports that the Chancellor intends to review the Business Property Relief (BPR) in the upcoming Budget, are deeply concerning to the UK’s family run businesses.  Family businesses employ over 13 million people and generate 28% of the UK’s GDP.  Family firms continue to exist for generation after generation by innovating, adapting and looking for new markets and opportunities. They make investment decisions for the long term.

Every year 85,000 family SMEs are expected to transfer ownership of their businesses to the next generation. Removing BPR would force family run firms to pay a tax penalty on transfer, which others don’t have to. 

Fiona Graham from the Institute for Family Business said:

“Family firms are the driving force across all regions, communities and sectors of the UK. Well over 80% of businesses in Yorkshire, the North West and the East and West Midlands are family owned. In those four regions alone family firms employ nearly four and a half million people.

“Inheritance tax relief is essential to their future prosperity.  Scrapping it would have a catastrophic impact on family firms. It would lead to family run businesses being sold or broken up to pay an Inheritance Tax bill, with knock on effects on employment.  It will also damage confidence in the sector, where families would reduce investment and always plan for the worst.

“The introduction of BPR positively impacted the health of family businesses and the wider economy by giving business owners the confidence to invest and expand.

“The majority of British businesses are family businesses.  They are dependent upon BPR for their current and future prosperity. Any change to it would inevitably result in a decline in growth and investment coupled with stagnation in the number of new jobs being created.

“As the UK seeks to level up nationally in the coming years, the success of family businesses will be a crucial factor in doing so. In order to succeed and grow, they require a stable tax system and an economic environment.  The future of the family business sector – and ultimately the Government’s ambitions for regional growth and investment – rely on maintaining BPR.” 

The Institute for Family Business is the UK’s family business organisation, supporting and promoting the UK family-owned business sector through events, networking, representation, and thought leadership.

Two-thirds of British businesses are family businesses – ranging from multinational, multibillion-pound businesses to micro start-ups, the sector employs over 13 million people and contributes £182 billion in taxes. 

1.8m British expats in EU should register now to vote in the UK’s general election: deVere CEO

31 OCTOBER 2019

British expats need to ensure that they are registered to vote in the UK’s forthcoming general election this December sooner rather than later.

This is the warning from the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, which has more than 80,000 mainly expatriate clients in 100 countries globally, is speaking out after it was confirmed that the UK is going to have a 12 December general election after the opposition Labour party agreed to a vote called for by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Green notes: “Many expats, quite rightly, remain angry and frustrated that even if they were eligible to participate in the 2016 Brexit referendum, the registration process took too long and was too burdensome, and ultimately they were unable to do so.

“It is particularly galling as those expats resident within the EU27 are disproportionately affected by Brexit.  

“For instance, if there is a no-deal Brexit, which remains a slight yet dangerous possibility, it is likely that their pensions, insurance and healthcare will be adversely affected overnight.”

He continues: “As this critical general election is, in effect, a second Brexit referendum, they should act now to register to vote in order to ensure their voice is heard.

“This will also help to counteract the injustice of the fact that 700,000-plus British expats are disenfranchised from the UK political system after 15 years overseas and were denied the vote on something that directly affects them.
 
“All other G7 countries except the UK allow their citizens voting rights for life. Why is Britain different? It’s especially frustrating that many are still liable for UK inheritance tax, amongst others, but are not allowed to vote in the UK after 15 years. 

“Whatever happened to ‘no taxation without representation’?”

Mr Green concludes: “Expats’ futures hang in the balance with this general election as it will inevitably shape Brexit’s direction of travel.” 

“If they are eligible to do so under the current archaic rules – which must be updated in the next parliament – expats should register to vote sooner rather than later.”

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote