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Budget 2014: Expert comment on international expansion and exporting

In response to the Chancellor's Budget announcement, Martin Lambert, International Tax Partner at business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP, comments on the implications for business looking to expand and export overseas:

"Following last year's Budget, the Chancellor has refocused the recovery away from relying on the consumer, to the export led growth we need, but more should be done.”

"Doubling the amount of export finance available to £3bn is clearly an improvement, but to really help dynamic UK growth businesses drive their overseas expansion further funds need to be made available for this essential initiative. Improving awareness and ease of access to these funds is also required and government needs to outline how it is going to address this. The reduction in interest charged on export finance is encouraging but as the Chancellor acknowledged, we are starting from a low base.

"It is fundamental that British business people travel abroad to meet their potential customers face to face, especially in the real high growth economies, and as such the cut to flight taxes should be applauded. 

"The annual investment allowance provides immediate tax relief for capital expenditure, and the doubling of this relief to £500,000 should encourage more firms to commit to the investment needed. It is however important to ensure that funds are available to finance this. The measures announced encouraging additional savings and the relaxation of the pension rules should create additional fluidity, boosting financing alternatives to challenge traditional lenders.

"I am also delighted that the Chancellor has protected the deductibility of interest paid in the UK to fund foreign growth, and specifically preserving the beneficial regime that restricts tax paid on interest received by offshore group finance companies to 5.25% or less."