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2015 Budget and Commercial Property

The final Budget of this Parliament was delivered in March. Julien Pritchard considers some of the headline issues affecting the commercial property sector.

Business Rates overhaul

The main announcement which is of  interest  is the government’s commitment to the long-promised (and some would say overdue) review of business rates. Large and small business has been lobbying on this issue for some time now highlighting the adverse effect which the system has on business (especially  SME’s) and the adverse effect the system has on economic recovery. This should be good news for the property sector. However, only time will tell.

Enterprise zones

The government has announced a number of new enterprise zones but unfortunately none in the South East of England.


Tax relief will be granted for contributions to flood defence projects.


The government has announced the Help to Buy: ISA. First-time buyers who choose to save through a Help to Buy: ISA will receive a government bonus, which will be calculated and paid when they buy their first home. We do not expect this to have a marked effect on this sector but it will assist some.

House building

The March 2015 Budget sets out information on the government's commitment to house building. This includes (subject to a business case) £7 million funding from 2015-16 to 2019-20 to the Greater London Authority to support the delivery of the Croydon Growth Zone, which could unlock over 4,000 homes and £97 million of funding to support the London Borough of Barnet and the Greater London Authority's plans for the regeneration of Brent Cross, unlocking 7,500 new homes. This will in my view assist growth in this area.

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2015 Budget And Your Taxes

Chancellor George Osborne delivered his sixth and final Budget of this Parliament on 18 March. We summarise the key changes here.

We also explain the unexpected announcement about a review of Deeds of Variation that could lead to changes to Inheritance Tax planning opportunities for families on death.

Income Tax 

For those born after 5 April 1938 the personal allowance will be increased to £10,600, increasing to £10,800 in 2016/17 and to £11,000 in 2017/18.

The basic rate of tax is currently 20%. The threshold at which the higher rate band of 40% applies will rise from £41,865 to £42,385 increasing to £42,700 in 2016/17 and £43,300 in 2017/18. The additional rate of tax of 45% is payable on taxable income above £150,000.

A further change is the departure from annual paper tax returns which will be replaced with a digital tax account. This will enable individuals and small businesses to see and manage their tax return online.


The total amount of pension contributions that an individual can accumulate over their lifetime (known as the ‘lifetime allowance’) will be reduced (from 6 April 2016) from £1.25 million to £1 million. The lifetime allowance will be indexed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index from 6 April 2018.

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