The Spring Statement 2018 - What does this mean for owner managed businesses?
14 March 2018
The Chancellor’s Spring Statement, or mini-budget, has rarely been an opportunity for surprises or for significant deviation from measures already declared the previous autumn.
The Spring Statement ran true to form, giving a nod, amongst other things, to commitments made to encourage the uptake of research and development tax credits by industry.
One bright spot concerned the intent to bring forward the next business rates revaluation exercise to 2021 and to triennial review thereafter, meaning that business rates better reflect current property prices. The Chancellor announced that the next business rates revaluation will be taking place in 2021 – as opposed to 2022, as initially scheduled – with the following taking place in 2024 in line with the new three-year time frame.
As the trend towards online buying and selling continues apace, the government is keen to support businesses who take and make payments digitally, to ensure people are still able to pay with cash when they need to, and prevent businesses from using cash to evade tax and launder money.
Amongst the many items of positive economic data extolled by the Chancellor, was the increase in forecast job creation. The difficulty, of course, for those owner managers generating those job vacancies is filling them! Finding and retaining the right members of staff is the single most common barrier to success and we see this in our client base across all sectors. For business owners, it is no longer sufficient to sell their products or services to their customers – they now need to go out and sell their story (and their vacancies) to potential employees who can afford to be more demanding and more selective given the current supply and demand.
Remaining on the subject of employment and training, the apprenticeship levy is placed for employers with a pay bill greater than £3 million per annum. However, the government has acknowledged the difficulty small businesses might find in seeking apprentices through this system. As a solution, up to £80m funding is to be released by the education secretary to support small businesses in hiring apprentices.