March 20, 2013
Despite this budget coming at a time when we’re still on the edge of a triple dip recession, fuel prices nearing an all-time high and the nation’s credit rating recently downgraded, there was plenty of good news for small business owners in today’s budget.
In fact there were a number of measures announced that will undoubtedly help many small businesses and justify their rising confidence levels.
Here are the headline announcements:
September’s rise in fuel duty has been cancelled
This is the news that many in the commercial sector and motoring organisations had been hoping to hear. September’s planned rise hasn’t only been postponed – unlike at previous budgets – but has been scrapped completely. While this news comes at a time when prices are reaching a record high, it will still help to keep the wheels of the economy turning and could be the catalyst for some precious economic growth.
What’s more ahead of the budget, the fortunes of the pound changes and we saw it rise against the dollar. Although we might not see this reflected immediately in prices at the pump, it’s good news for motorists, as a weak pound has been, in part, to blame for increasing the cost of fuel.
£3bn cut from Departmental budgets to fund Capital Spending
An announcement made yesterday, the Chancellor is squeezing the budgets of Whitehall departments by a further £3bn to pay for new capital spending projects. Top of his to do list – infrastructure.
Responding to the news, Geoff Dunning, RHA Chief Executive, welcomed the investment on Twitter:
“Good to see an increase in investment on roads. They are the hauliers’ production lines: the cost when they grind to a halt is unacceptable.”
Employment allowance scheme
A new employment allowance will be created that will reduce companies’ national insurance bills by £2,000 per employee. Up to 2.5m employers will benefit, while 450,000 of the country’s smallest businesses will no longer pay any employer contributions, according to the Treasury.
Corporation tax will be cut by a further 1pc to 20pc
The reduction of the headline corporation tax rate to 20pc will welcome news to many companies as the look to remain competitive in the global marketplace. It should also make many the UK a far more attractive prospect for international investors.
Measures to boost the construction industry
There was good news for the construction industry as a whole in the Chancellor’s budget. In a move to boost housebuilding, he has enlarged the government’s Build to Rent Loan scheme from £200m to £1bn.
An additional £225m will be set aside to fund the building of 15,000 new affordable homes in England and Mr Osborne announced a £3.5bn commitment to shared equity loans for first time buyers.