How could Osborne's Autumn Statement impact on tradesmen?

Tradesmen of Britain could be set for a busy few years, following Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.

The near future could well include more work and less hassle. Good news right? Well here’s why…

Safe as houses

In one of the major announcements of the spending review, Osborne outlined plans for a proposed 400,000-home building spree.

With the housing budget being doubled to £2 billion a year, the programme is scheduled for completion by the end of the decade.

The project represents the biggest of its kind since the 1970s, and tradesmen – from bricklayers to decorators – will be in very high demand.

Digital tax accounts

Tax doesn’t have to be taxing, but for a very long time it has been. However, depending on your digital disposition, it may soon be getting easier/harder (delete as appropriate.)

A HMRC reorganisation will see most taxpayers given a digital tax account. And in a move away from the annual tax return, the self-employed will be required to update the account with expenses and income each quarter.

This digital switch could be a good thing for the more tech-savvy tradesmen out there, but for those still inclined to file their returns offline – and around 43% of all tax returns were completed offline last year – it could be an unwelcome switch.

Apprenticeship levy

The Chancellor also confirmed plans for the proposed apprenticeship levy, with the goal being three million new apprenticeships created by 2020.

The levy will be in place as of April 2017, and less than 2% of UK employers will pay it – the £15,000 allowance means that it will only be paid on employers’ wage bills over £3million, at 0.5 per cent.

With a well-documented skills shortage to make up for, the hope is presumably that the next generation can chip in on the ambitious housing plans.

Are you a tradesman? What did you make of the Autumn Statement? Let us know in the comments below.

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