How the Spring Statement affects you
The Spring Statement 2018: the key announcements small businesses should know:
1. The next business rates revaluation will take place in 2021
In 2017’s Autumn Budget, the chancellor announced that business rates revaluations would take place every three years rather than every five, meaning business rates better reflect current property prices.
In today’s Spring statement, Hammond 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.
2. 13 UK areas are to benefit from £95m digital infrastructure funding
The 2017 Autumn Budget announced the launch of a £190m challenge fund designed to improve digital infrastructure; rolling-out full-fibre broadband across the UK.
Today, Hammond revealed that the first funding from the challenge fund has been allocated, with over £95m going to 13 regions across the country, providing faster and more secure internet connections to businesses in these areas.
3. Up to £80m funding will be released to help small businesses hire apprentices
The chancellor confirmed that the government is committed to providing [sociallocker]three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 through the apprenticeship levy[/sociallocker][sociallocker][/sociallocker][sociallocker][/sociallocker][sociallocker][/sociallocker][sociallocker][/sociallocker]. However, he said that the government recognises the difficulty small businesses might find in seeking apprentices through this system.
As a solution, the chancellor announced that up to £80m funding will be released by the education secretary to support small businesses in hiring apprentices.
4. The tax system could change so multinational digital businesses pay fair tax
According to the government, the value that digital businesses contribute to the economy is not always reflected in the tax that multinational digital businesses pay on their profits. Hammond confirmed that the government has considered and laid out its views on how the tax system could change to create a fairer result for such businesses.
5. The government is seeking views on digital payments and the use of cash
As more and more people opt to shop, sell things and save money online, the government is keen to support businesses who take and make payments digitally, ensure that people are still able to pay with cash when they need to, and prevent businesses from using cash to evade tax and launder money.
To this end, Hammond announced that the government has launched a call for evidence from businesses, asking them to share what they think the government can do to achieve these three things. You can now email your views to cashanddigitalpayments@HMTreasury.gsi.gov.uk.
6. Small businesses wanted to share views on extending tax relief to support self-funded skills training
With a view to improving UK workers’ skills and so boosting the country’s productivity, Hammond said the government is also keen to hear opinions on how it can extend the current tax relief available for self-employed people’s training, and the training of employees when they pay for it themselves.
You can have your say on this by emailing your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. The government is taking steps to “eliminate” late payments
Recognising the negative impact that late payments can have on start-ups and small businesses, the chancellor announced a call for evidence which calls on small businesses to help the government understand how best it can help to eliminate late payments.