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BUDGET 2016: What does it mean for veterinary practices?

Following last week's budget 2016 announcement, the Veterinary Practice Management Association has issued a statement on the 2016 Budget and how it may affect veterinary practices and pet owners.

So, how does the 2016 Budget stack up for veterinary practices operating in the current generation?

“Weak global growth forecasts are always a bit gloomy; however, historically the UK veterinary industry has withstood fluctuations in the global economies in a robust manner, and the planned personal allowance increase from £11,000 in 2016/17 to £11,500 in 2017/18 presents an opportunity as people find a little extra change in their pockets to fund “affordable treats” for themselves and their pets.

“Slightly less sunny for pet owners and practices alike is the increase in insurance premium tax from 9.5% to 10%. Although seemingly a small percentage increase, in actuality this will noticeably increase the cost of all insurance policies, and reduce clients’ disposable income. It will add significantly to practice premises and professional indemnity insurance policies, and the increase in pet policy premiums may put insurance cover out of reach for a larger share of our pet-owning market – with implications for both practice profitability and animal welfare.

“In business terms, a few bones have been thrown our way in terms of corporation tax reduction with an additional 2% reduction for April 2020 (17%) being added to the already planned reduction to 19% from 20% on 1 April 2017, and several adjustments to the small business rate relief in England from April 2017, offering benefits to those with rateable values below £51,000. Particularly benefitting are those with rateable values less than £15,000. However, beware the Director who rubs his or her hands at the prospect of less Corporation Tax as the significant imminent increases in dividend taxation may see the Chancellor “giveth and then taketh away…”

More information on the VPMA can be found at www.vpma.co.uk.

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