We’ve sifted through Osborne’s speech to give you a brief overview.
With election year just around the corner the pressure is on in Westminster, so as autumn statements go yesterday’s affair was more headline grabbing than most. A whole raft of measures were announced - many that could impact on our customers - so we’ve taken the time to take a long look through them and find the biggest news for small businesses and landlords.
First, let’s take a look at what Osborne’s offered small businesses.
Help for the High Street
Business rates have been a big bone of contention and it looks like the coalition’s listened, Osborne stating that small business rate relief will ‘double to £1500 next year’. A comforting commitment it’s an overdue move that’ll improve many a SMEs cash flow, and one that ought to ease the strain on a hard-hit UK High Street.
A freeze on fuel duty
Our Simply Britain Pulse Check pointed to the problems of high-priced fuel, with petrol costs a key concern amongst the businesses we spoke to. Here, there’s some slight good news in the fact that the coalition’s promised a freeze on fuel duty – a measure that should at least bring some taxation stability.
£900 million in increased funding
Funding has long been an issue for Britain’s existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, so the government’s pledged around £900 million investment in schemes designed to help small businesses. Whilst a promising amount it’s often the case that these schemes can be tricky to find, so we’ll be pushing for better signposting as part of our Simply Britain campaign next year.
An easing on apprenticeship costs
Something that might have slipped under the radar yesterday was Osborne’s promise to abolish apprenticeship tax for the under 25s. For employers’ this means no more national insurance contributions for new apprentices within this age bracket, although the change won’t come effect until April 2016.
A rise in R&D tax reliefs
As part of plans to encourage innovation Osborne offered up an increase in research and development tax relief, aimed at SMEs. This is set to rise to 230% - see if you might be eligible here.
Other commitments included increased infrastructure spending designed to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and greater business investment outside of London. This looks like it could become a key concern in coming years, given its prevalence in Osborne’s speech.
But what was the big news for landlords?
A big shift in stamp duty
Many buy-to-let investors could experience big savings under changes to stamp duty announced yesterday, as from 4th December –
- No stamp duty will be paid on the first £125,000 of a property
- 2% will be paid on the portion up to £250,000
- 5% is paid for the portion up to £925,000
- 10% is paid on the portion up to £1.5m
- 12% is paid on anything above that
For the majority of buy-to-let investors then, yesterday brought good news. Those making bigger investments though may actually face out paying more in stamp duty.