Posts Tagged ‘IoD’

queen's speechAs we all digest the elements of the UK government’s plan for the next 5 years as delivered by Her Majesty to Parliament, it appears to me that Wales has plenty to cheer about.

As mentioned in today’s Western Mail, the Institute of Directors (IOD) Director for Wales, Robert Lloyd Griffiths, makes a few key points about yesterday’s announcement. Firstly, in welcoming the reduction of red tape for SME’s in Wales who represent such a vitally important sector for future job growth in Wales – although we have yet to see where the Government will find £10 billion worth of cuts regulation!

Secondly, the absolute priority to negotiate the terms for the UK’s continuing membership of the EU – a membership which I believe is crucial for the continued growth of both Wales and the UK economy. Our biggest market is Europe and therefore we must remain part of it.

Thirdly, new powers for the Welsh Government were announced. This is to be welcomed, as the Welsh Government should become more accountable and of significantly more importance to the growth of Wales in the future than it is currently.

The list of changes and challenges laid out in the Queen’s Speech are significant but if addressed without delay, there is every chance that Wales and the rest of the UK will see further positive signs of growth, bringing more prosperity to our citizens, young and old over the years ahead.

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Breakfast ClubOur speaker this month was Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation at the Institute of Directors (IoD). Stephen joined the IoD in September 2013 after 10 years as a tax partner at BDO. He is one of only eight independent members of the Treasury’s Tax Professionals Forum.

Stephen began his talk by sharing with the club the IoD’s recent presentation to the HM Treasury proposing 5 ‘short term’ and 5 ‘medium term’ tax reforms to simplify taxation and reduce its burden on the economy. These are reforms which the IoD believes the Government can afford. Stephen explained that his ‘short term’ reforms are ones which can be employed “without long consultations which delay change” and acted on in 2014. The IoD’s ‘medium term’ reforms are those which they think can be implemented in 2015.

One of the key ‘short term’ reforms Stephen discussed was a proposal to freeze business rates. Stephen explained that in many sectors IoD members have “fed back to us that business rates are becoming an unaffordable cost for entrepreneurial businesses.” He elaborated to say that he believes “it is wrong that businesses pay more rates” and suggested that “at the very least business rates should be frozen before reevaluation takes place.”

Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation, IoD

Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation, IoD

Stephen talked to the Breakfast Club about a ‘medium term’ proposal for the Government to introduce a simplified, alternative pension scheme. Stephen explained that this could be as simple as employers paying into an ISA scheme which cannot be withdrawn from until the employee is aged 55.

Misconceptions surrounding National Insurance was also a topic Stephen covered. He said that “some people vaguely think it’s to do with national health and pensions” and that there is “no separate pot” that it goes into, “it just goes into the Exchequeur.”

Stephen concluded by saying that he believes the future of taxation is in simplifying it and implementing “authentic and sensible tax planning” to “draw boundaries” and support the business sector.

The next Breakfast Club meeting will be held on 13th December, with guest speaker Derek Jones, Permanent Secretary. For further information, please contact eira@petersenspr.com or call 02920 549597.