The BMF offers an overview of what it believes are the most important aspects for the merchant industry to come out of the Spring Statement.
In a break from tradition, Philip Hammond MP swapped The Budget that he usually announces in March/April with the Autumn Statement that normally takes place in November. The Chancellor believes it is better for business if companies face only one fiscal announcement per year from the Government regarding economic forecasts, public spending, borrowing, taxation and so on.
The main event is therefore several months away, but we summarise the relevant points.
The Chancellor is making available more money to support new housing, notably:
- £100 million to fund the Mayor of the West Midlands’ plan to deliver 215,000 homes
- £1.67 billion for the Mayor of London to build a further 27,000 affordable homes by 2022
- £60 million to boost the Housing Growth Partnership fund that supports SME housebuilders – and Lloyds Banking Group has matched this – meaning £120 million in total
Training and skills
The Chancellor is making available more money to support vocational training, notably:
- £50 million to help employers prepare for the rollout of the new T-Level work placements
- £80 million to support SMEs wanting to employ an apprentice
He added that the £29 million Construction Skills Fund will open for bids next month to pay for up to 20 construction skills ‘villages’ around the country.
No major changes to Corporation or other business taxes, property taxes such as Stamp Duty and Council Tax, or transport taxes like Fuel Duty or Vehicle Excise Duty.
However, please don’t forget that next month, uprating means the National Living Wage increases from April 2018 by 4.4% from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour. The National Minimum Wage rates increase from April 2018 as follows:
- 7% increase in 21-24 year old rate from £7.05 to £7.38 per hour
- 4% increase in 18-20 year old rate from £5.60 to £5.90 per hour
- 7% increase in 16-17 year old rate from £4.05 to £4.20 per hour
- 7% increase in apprentice rate from £3.50 to £3.70 per hour
This message is not a full, in-depth analysis of the Spring Statement. Only those aspects directly relevant to our members’ interests are shown here. The BMF will keep you informed (via “Business News” and other channels) if the situation changes.