From the construction skills gap to the digital economy, Acorn Sales Director Lewis Fawcitt addresses the latest government Budget Statement.
The Chancellor’s budget focused heavily on the issue of housing which covered a range of subjects from government support to boost construction and the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers.
House building will be a priority in the years ahead and while this is specific to England, there will apparently be some allowance for similar schemes in Wales within the Welsh Government’s budget.
It was encouraging to hear that when discussing this ambitious building programme, Phillip Hammond acknowledged that in order to achieve it, there will need to be an increased focus on addressing the construction skills gap.
The Government has clearly realised what we have been saying for a long time and have acknowledged that the skill levels in Britain are not at the level required to ensure we can compete in a global economy.
I would further add that the commitment to recruiting 8,000 computer science teachers is a positive step as we progress our digital economy and ensure that future generations are well equipped when they enter the workplace.
The unchanged VAT threshold for small businesses is also encouraging, SME businesses are the very backbone of the UK economy so this is certainly welcome news.
I was extremely disappointed that there was no mention of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon in the Budget. I hope that this was an omission rather than a statement of intent, or lack thereof, from the Government.
One unexpected announcement in today’s budget was the Government’s commitment to eradicating homelessness by 2027. We support homeless charities all over the UK, and in particular we work closely with The Wallich to help homeless people overcome the challenges they face in getting back to work and hopefully the new taskforce will come up with practical solutions to this ever-increasing issue.