Every year, the Budget and the Autumn Statement give us an opportunity to see how the Government will set the spending agenda for the next year – some of us hoping for changes to the housing sector, announcements around pensions for those of us planning ahead and even cuts to a pint of beer for the rest of us. And also to see how it will affect our clients!
As this Spring Budget creeps closer and the Chancellor battles to decrease the deficit this year, here’s a list of things we’ll be keeping an eye on for our clients:
You can’t have missed the news that the country is going through somewhat of a housing crisis. With unprecedented changes to the social housing sector, more tenants are being given the right to buy their housing association homes, whilst local authorities are also being forced to sell off their valuable properties.
Private renters and buyers are feeling the pinch too – with changes in Buy-to-Let taxes for private landlords, rents spiralling out of control and rising house prices.
Our housing team has been working for clients in the public and private sector and we know the great work that goes on behind closed doors to try and solve this crisis – so it will be interesting to see what George Osborne offers.
The Government has long been shouting about its £15 billion pledge to improve the UK’s roads and infrastructure, but most of us just want to know what it’s going to do about potholes!
Something else to keep an eye on is whether the Chancellor raises fuel duty. Whilst motorists have benefited from a freeze in the tax since 2011, with fuel prices at a six year low, Osborne could see this as an opportunity to raise it. Our clients regularly campaign for greater motorists’ rights and an end to the huge costs for UK drivers so we’ll be keeping an ear out for any inkling of ending the freeze.
In an intensely scrutinised and heavily regulated industry, there’s often bated breath when it comes to Government announcements. It was a particular blow to see the end of the Green Deal delivering environmentally friendly ways to save energy – and a bit of money – so it would be good to see some alternative policies looking to promote eco energy.
And finally, all our clients are businesses and any changes in business rates, employment and training are vital in their day-to-day running.
With many of our clients celebrating National Apprenticeship Week this month, we know the importance of offering training and employment opportunities to young people in local communities (we have our own Acceleris Academy offering work placements and placement years to young graduates and students looking to get into PR).
The Budget often brings with it a promise of opportunity for young people looking for employment so we’re hoping the Chancellor will do more to support all manner of businesses who want to offer these opportunities.
Whilst we have specialist teams at Acceleris covering maritime, housing, health, motoring and charity, we work for clients in all areas of business and are experienced in crisis communications, for those announcements that you might not be expecting.