Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

SPONSORED: Budget offers some optimism for north-east despite surprise lack of green initiatives

Net-zero, tax reliefs and incentives north east - Gillian McColgan discusses the Budget.

When Rishi Sunak unveiled his budget, many expected the Chancellor to announce tax reliefs and incentives to support the UK’s net-zero strategy – given it was taking place just days before Glasgow’s vital COP26 conference.

With the north-east heavily reliant on the energy industry, many local firms will have been hoping for support for their own journey to net-zero, says Gillian McColgan of Johnston Carmichael, the largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in Scotland.

Here, tax director Gillian explains more about what the budget means for tax reliefs and incentives in the north-east:

The Chancellor did place focus on other forms of investment in innovation.  With an increase in Innovate UK’s annual core budget to £1billion, the establishment of a new Advanced Research and Invention Agency, a new Scale-Up visa to bring highly skilled individuals to the UK and an extension to the range of qualifying expenditure for R&D tax relief, there is potential benefit to many north east businesses with an interest in developing new science and technology.

R&D tax relief schemes

A commitment was also made to tackling abuse of the UK’s R&D tax relief schemes – a step in the right direction in order to secure the long-term viability of this important relief – as well as the introduction of a new territorial restriction, intended to “incentivise greater investment here at home”.

The extension of the £1m Annual Investment Allowance will come as welcome news for businesses, particularly unincorporated entities, leasing businesses and those investing in second hand plant that do not qualify for the ‘super-deduction’ that was announced in March.

Aberdeen city to receive £20million

The price of repairing the hundreds of buildings up the length of Union Street, Aberdeen, could be made known to owners as part of city centre regeneration works.

Aberdeen is set to receive £20m from a total of more than £172m being invested in Scottish ‘levelling up’ projects.

The funding is being used in the city centre, which is a welcome announcement for many businesses, especially as it comes months after it was confirmed the popular John Lewis store would be closing.

Retail has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, so anything that aids its recovery will undoubtedly be backed by the sector.

Small craft brewers and pubs may also benefit from the simplification of the alcohol duty regime and the introduction of small producer and draught beer relief, as well as the announcement that the planned increase in alcohol duty has been cancelled.

Business rates to be cut in half across England

Mr Sunak also unveiled a temporary 50 per cent cut in business rates for shops, restaurants, bars and gyms – up to a maximum of £110,000 – across England.

Businesses in the north-east will be eager to see the detail of Kate Forbes’ announcements of measures to support the Scottish hospitality, retail and leisure sectors come the Scottish budget on December 9 this year.

Aberdeen and Inverness were also mentioned as potential beneficiaries of the reduction in Air Passenger Duty for domestic flights.

Some have viewed this as a surprising announcement ahead of COP26 however others may hope that this could increase footfall in these local airports, and make more people consider the north-east as a tourist destination.

Tax reliefs and incentives north-east – the impact of Tonnage Tax reform

One announcement that may have significant impact in the north-east was the reform of Tonnage Tax.

The precise details are yet to be announced but it is hoped that more shipping businesses will be able to access the benefits of the regime as a result and that this may compensate for recent reductions in the rate of tax relief available on the purchase of new vessels.

The freeze in fuel duty may be broadly welcomed, along with the further temporary suspension of the HGV levy and introduction of temporary visas, aimed at alleviating pressures in the supply chain.

A positive future for Aberdeen and the north east

It is fair to say that the Chancellor’s statement did not contain radical changes to the tax system.

This didn’t come as a huge surprise following the more significant announcements seen in the March Budget and recent introduction of the health and social care levy.

Instead, he painted a positive picture about the future, beginning “the work of preparing for a new economy”, while still acknowledging the huge financial impact caused by Covid-19.

The Chancellor always has difficult decisions to make in these budgets, but there are some positives for Aberdeen and the north-east to take from his announcement.

Investment in the city centre cannot be a bad thing and research institutions, educational establishments and businesses alike may benefit from some of the commitment to investment in research and development.

For more information on the budget and tax reliefs and incentives in the north-east, please visit Johnston Carmichael’s website.