TheCityUK comments on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2015 Budget

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, comments on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2015 Budget statement

In his final budget statement before the General Election, the Chancellor has sensibly focused on macroeconomic stability and long-term economic growth.

The Chancellor’s ambition for the UK to become the largest economy in Europe and the most prosperous major country in the world is a great one for the Government and wealth-creators across the country. The financial and related professional services sectors will have an essential role to play in delivering this ambition and we look forward to working with Government and our members in the wider economy to make it a reality.

European Listings Review

TheCityUK is pleased to have been invited by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to undertake an independent practitioner-led review of the European Listings Regime. This will both respond to the European Commission’s Prospectus Directive Consultation and provide a comprehensive report setting out more ambitious recommendations to develop a truly pan-European listings regime. The review aligns with the European Commission’s commitment to develop a Capital Markets Union (CMU) and will make recommendations on how the current regime could be improved to advance the goals of a CMU for all 28 EU Member States. It will, in particular, take a view on improving the regime for new listings, especially for growth companies. Other issues to be examined include the continuing obligations of listed issuers, which are also relevant to the CMU goals of making capital markets well-regulated and appropriately accessible.

Competitiveness

TheCityUK has called for the Government to drive growth through a focus on international competitiveness. The measures introduced today to lower corporation tax to 20% and simplify tax returns are therefore to be welcomed, as are the higher-than-planned increases in the personal allowance.

Savings and pensions

Continued reforms to the pension and savings regime are important to addressing the UK’s demographic challenges and helping homebuyers. We welcome the Chancellor’s continued focus on fostering a savings culture, in particular the introduction of more flexible ISAs and other tax incentives for personal savings. In the future, technology will have an even more important role in helping people making financial choices and we therefore welcome the Chancellor’s consultation on financial guidance and advice.