Autumn Statement 2013: Give clarity on capital allowances to encourage investment

As part of our preview to Autumn Statement 2013, Damian Walmsley, partner at Moore and Smalley offers his thoughts on what government can do to help businesses.


With clear signs that the recovery is taking hold, the government has an ideal opportunity with this autumn statement to give further encouragement to businesses planning investment in growth.


The Funding for Lending scheme and the recent introduction of Help to Buy are already helping businesses in property and construction, as well as a number of other sectors, but I think more could be done, particularly with capital allowances.


In last year’s autumn statement the chancellor increased the Annual Investment Allowance for investments in plant and machinery from £25,000 to £250,000 for a period of two years. This is due to revert back to £25,000 at the end of 2014, which I think would be a huge backward step.


I would like to see Mr Osborne give a firm commitment to increase the AIA on a permanent basis as this would further encourage businesses to invest in expansion opportunities, rather than being thrown into uncertainty.


I would also bring back business rates relief on empty properties as this would provide an additional boost to the commercial property market.