James Pinchbeck

Partner, Streets Chartered Accountants

James Pinchbeck is Partner at Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 UK accountancy practice. James, as a specialist in marketing professional services, is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm's strategic marketing as well as its engagement in the community it which it works and serves. His role allows him to capitalise on his broad interest in the national and local economy as well as his passion for enterprise. As part of his wider interest in enterprise, marketing and education, James is a board member of NBV – the East Midlands Enterprise Agency, an FE College Governor and a board member of the University of Lincoln’s Business School. He is also an Institute of Director’s past Branch Chairman.


By Partner, Streets Chartered Accountants

At a time of rising inflation and living costs, for many younger workers and households, it is something they will not have experienced in their lifetime and many will have listened to the Chancellor with baited breath for measures and support to ease the burden.

Whilst many were urging the Chancellor to use the Spring Statement to axe the health and care national insurance increase due to come in this April, few probably really thought he would and he didn’t. 

In terms of support for all households facing increased costs of living, he announced a 5p reduction per litre in the fuel duty levy from 6pm.

This will no doubt be welcomed by those reliant on their car for work, particularly those living and working in rural areas where alternative lower cost travel options are not always available.

Whilst we head towards the warmer months, few though will take their minds off increasing energy costs with the price cap hike due to come in from April.

The number of people who can benefit from the news of the removal of 5% VAT levied on the installation of renewable energy including heat pumps, solar and wind etc, will probably be limited and lagged in their benefit for most.

The Chancellor also announced an increase in the Household Support Scheme with a further £500m of support being available to local authorities to target assistance to those affected by energy price increases.

When it comes to managing rising energy costs for businesses, again the measures announced were limited in that they failed to address the issues currently faced.

Supply chain issues, labour shortages increasingly giving rise to price rises for consumers and energy price rises are all key contributors to overall price rises faced on goods, especially food and other key household items.

His help with energy costs for businesses was limited to removing business rates due on a range of green technology used to decarbonise buildings, including solar panels and batteries, whilst eligible heat networks will also receive 100% relief.

So looking at how the Chancellor sought to balance managing the economy, public debt and borrowing whilst seeking to promote growth and to help those, if not all, affected by rising living costs, what were the key announcements?

In the here and now, or at least to have a more immediate benefit was the announcement that the threshold at which National Insurance Contributions are levied will rise by £3,000 to £12,570 in line with the Income Tax Threshold.

The Chancellor declared that this represents a £300 tax cut for those who will benefit from the change from July 22.

This threshold increase is believed to benefit some 70% of the workforce and should help to mitigate the increase due to come with the new National Insurance health and care levy.

When it comes to help for businesses, the Chancellor served up a lukewarm helping of reheated announcements made previously with support around reductions in business rates, stating he would introduce reliefs a year earlier in April 22, through his Help to Grow initiatives and a continued focus around innovation through research and development tax reliefs.

He did however offer support to employers, from the 6th of April, through an increase in the Employment Allowance from £4,000 to £5,000. This allows smaller businesses to reduce their employers National Insurance contributions bills each year.

As his Statement came to an end, the Chancellor’s final announcement was on the proposed reduction in the basic rate of income tax from 20% to 19% before the end of this Parliament.

Perhaps with a sense that this Statement was one based either on government seemingly becoming a little jaded, running out of steam, or facing the challenges of dealing more and more with issues in the here and now as opposed taking a more longer-term perspective.

With recent media coverage we might be forgiven for thinking that it was a statement that marks the start of a government laying the foundation and making preparations for a general election, perhaps even as early as next year.  

James Pinchbeck is Partner at Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 UK accountancy practice. James, as a specialist in marketing professional services, is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm's strategic marketing as well as its engagement in the community it which it works and serves. His role allows him to capitalise on his broad interest in the national and local economy as well as his passion for enterprise. As part of his wider interest in enterprise, marketing and education, James is a board member of NBV – the East Midlands Enterprise Agency, an FE College Governor and a board member of the University of Lincoln’s Business School. He is also an Institute of Director’s past Branch Chairman.

By Partner, Streets Chartered Accountants

Who would have thought 2021 would be very much like 2020, including for many a further 12 months of working from home, with perhaps the highlights being the seemingly rare chance to participate and attend live events.

The year 2021 undoubtedly was a challenging one for many, if not all our clients, especially those who were at the tail end of the easing of lockdown, including those engaged in hospitality and leisure.

Invariably though our clients, many small and medium sized enterprises, have with true grit and resilience got through. We genuinely believe through providing much needed support and guidance and being on hand we have played our part in looking after them.

The past 12 months saw the need to respond to change, much out of necessity whether it was due to staff shortages, changes in working models or to respond to customer needs. All has led to new and innovative ideas and approaches.

Certainly, we have been busy supporting many technology businesses with new ideas in response to dealing with the impact of the pandemic or to help businesses address productivity issues.

From our firm’s perspective we were particularly delighted to be recognised for our effective, innovative and engaging branding and marketing communications in the Living Ratings of the UK’s top 50 accountancy firms, from Living Group. We climbed to number eight for marketing, brand and digital intelligence.

We also really appreciate the partnership we have with local agency Distract, who have played such an instrumental part in helping us achieve such a great result.

As a firm, 2021 has been another busy year, one which saw the continued development of specialist work in the fields of technology, bloodstock, media and entertainment as well as in terms of the provision of specialist tax work and international advice.

The summer saw the merger of the Luton based practice of S J Males with the firm to form Streets S J Males. The partnership also expanded with the appointment of new Corporate Tax Partner Mustafa Rafik, Business Development Partner Sarah Williams and the promotion of our bloodstock specialist Andrew Diplock to Partner.

We all started to enjoy a great level of freedom as the summer approached in 2021, with perhaps a lack of being able to get out in 2020 helping us to value time away from the home, whether for shopping, sport, leisure pursuits or the chance to catch up with family and friends.

For many it has been a time to reacquaint ourselves with or to get to know better our own surroundings. Certainly, it has been a true pleasure to explore, on bike or foot, more of the countryside around Lincoln and across Lincolnshire.

One such highlight was taking part in the annual C2C2C cycle ride, 100 miles from Lincoln to coast and back, organised by one of our fellow local accountancy firms. Along with other professionals it was a pleasure to sponsor the 10th annual ride in aid of charity. Having ridden all ten, it was even more special and it is great to spend time with professional colleagues and contacts many of whom had not been seen in person for over a year.

Whilst it has been a challenging year in terms of time to give, over and above the day job, it has been an especially rewarding one mentoring Sandra and Chris McDonough of Spalding based EyeGuideMC.

Sandra is truly inspirational, whilst facing the long-term effects of Parkinson’s she has invented, without prior technical knowledge or training, a device that improves the quality of those with the condition. In May this year, EyeGuideMC was officially launched and is now changing for the better the lives of those with Parkinson’s across the UK. Thanks go to Russell Copley for his 10 x 10 growth accelerator for supporting the business and for suggesting the mentoring role.

As we approach the end of the year, we were delighted to once again sponsor and support the Lincolnite’s 30 under 30. It was a delight to attend the celebration event in the Cathedral Chapter House and to meet so many innovative, creative, inspirational and imaginative young people whether pursing enterprise or having a key organisation role.

It was great to see such amazing role models and future business leaders.

2021 certainly has felt like the year of doing it differently and one where innovation and inspiration has been rife.

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