Darling delivers maiden Budget

UK Chancellor Alastair Darling delivered his first Budget, in which he confirmed plans to scrap taper relief and increase capital gains tax by 80% by introducing a flat rate capital gains tax rate of 18%.

Small business owners are granted a concession in the form of the so-called ‘entrepreneur’s relief’, whereby a selling owner will be given a 10% tax cut up to the first £1m of lifetime capital gains. The Chancellor has also pressed ahead with his £30,000 levy on non-domiciles.

SMEs also look set to benefit from the appointment of industry veteran and Amadeus Capital CEO Anne Glover to lead a review into how private companies can gain better access to government contracts. Darling’s aim is for 30% of all public procurement to come from SMEs by 2013.

Other announcements included the increase of tax relief for companies in the Enterprise Investment Scheme by £100,000 to £500,000, and tax relief for employees under the Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme, which goes up from £100,000 to £120,000. Also, a £12m fund has been set-up to back female entrepreneurs, and the Chancellor has also pumped in an extra £60m in funds to the Small Firms Loan Guarantee scheme.