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ICAEW: Budget should set the tone for this decade

10 March 2020: Michael Izza, Chief Executive of ICAEW, has written to the Chancellor setting out key priorities for his first Budget and outlining how this decade must be one of transition for the UK economy.

Writing to Rishi Sunak ahead of his first Budget as Chancellor, Izza states that policies announced in the 11 March statement will “set the tone for the coming years”, and will be crucial in tackling the big challenges facing UK society and laying the foundations for the UK’s global economic success.

As trusted advisors to over three million companies in the UK, Izza states that the work of Chartered Accountants “underpins growth and investment” in every sector of the economy, and they are often the first point of reference for business leaders, as they seek new opportunities overseas.

During this decade of transition, he continues, the accountancy profession will be “central in providing the kind of support that businesses will need”.

The letter sets out three key priorities from ICAEW to the Chancellor from an accountancy perspective:

  • Deliver on the UK’s UN Sustainable Development Goal commitments by 2030: As advisers to businesses and through applying their skills in measuring, reporting and assuring data, Chartered Accountants have a vital role to play in the UK meeting our obligations.
  • Ensure professional and business services remain globally competitive: New trade deals must include professional and business services (PBS) and issues vital to them. This will ensure the sector remains globally competitive and continues to attract investment and income for the UK.

  • Hold businesses to account through strong corporate governance: There needs to be an evolution in corporate governance, financial reporting and audit as society’s expectations of business changes, and the demand for transparency grows. The Government can help this by setting up a new regulator - the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority – and giving it the powers to do the job.

In a separate letter, ICAEW’s Tax Faculty also wrote to the Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, outlining how the Government should prioritise work in five areas: 

  • Align the UK tax system with its policy objectives
  • Take time to get legislative change right first time
  • Review the costs and benefits of Making Tax Digital
  • Properly resource HMRC
  • Seize the opportunity presented by the UK leaving the European Union to reform VAT.

To find out more about the letter to the Chancellor, please visit our Budget 2020 hub.