Response to 2016 Budget

March 14, 2016

The headlines

We welcome the tax break for museums and galleries and other specific measures for that sector.

We welcome further fiscal incentives for small creative businesses and freelances.

 We are increasingly concerned about the impact on local authority budgets and the consequences for provision of arts and culture.

There are several elements of the Budget affecting the arts, creative industries and cultural education.

We welcome measures for arts and heritage including: 

The new tax break for museums and galleries that will be available to temporary and touring exhibitions from April 2017

Specific projects including £54 million for the Royal College of Art in Battersea, £5 million for the V&A Dundee, £2 million to refurbish the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, £13 million for Hull’s City of Culture, a new Shakespeare North theatre in Knowsley, £14 million for the STEAMhouse in Digbeth, Birmingham, bringing together arts and STEM to drive innovation, and support for the British Library’s ambition to develop land to the north of its St Pancras site

Extending the Cathedral Repairs Fund by an extra £20 million.

We welcome support for the digital economy - in addition to the Institute of Coding already announced - including:

The establishment of a new Broadband Investment Fund to support alternative broadband networks

Delivery of a 5G strategy in 2017 so that the UK becomes a world leader in 5G.

As a sector with high numbers of small and medium-sized enterprises and freelances, we also welcome other measures including:

New tax-free allowances for micro-entrepreneurs

Cutting business rates for smaller businesses so that businesses occupying property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates with tapered rates of relief on properties worth up to £15,000

Simplification of National Insurance contributions for the self-employed

All Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to have a small business representative on their board.

We are pleased that our major creative businesses also stand to gain from the cut in corporation tax to 17 per cent by 2020.

However, while we welcome business rate relief for small companies, we are extremely concerned that the estimated £7 billion savings for these small businesses will be forfeited by the local authorities who have been given the right to retain business rate income as part of plans for greater financial autonomy. Any further decrease in revenues for local authorities risks further damage to local arts organisations. 


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