In the Chancellor's introduction, he said of this budget, it was a budget for hard working families, who live their lives far from Westminster and care little for the twists and turns of Westminster politics. People who get up early in the morning to: open up factories, shops, and building sites; to drop their kids off at school; to check on elderly relatives and neighbours. The strivers, the grafters and the carers who are the backbone of the communities and the economy. People who ask only of Government that they protect the jobs that put food on their table. That the government deliver the public services their families rely on and that they do it efficiently, minimising the amount of tax they need to take from their hard-earned wages.
The Budget announces that the government will meet its commitment to raise the PA to £12,500 and the HRT to £50,000 from April 2019, one year earlier than planned. These thresholds will remain at the same levels in 2020-21 and then increase by CPI.
Off-payroll working in the private sector – To help people comply with the existing rules and bring private sector organisations in line with public-sector bodies and agencies, the government will reform the off-payroll working rules (known as IR35) in the private sector. This follows consultation and the roll-out of reform in the public sector. Responsibility for operating the off-payroll working rules will move from individuals to the organisation, agency or other third party engaging the worker. To give people and businesses time to prepare, this change will not be introduced until April 2020. Small organisations will be exempt, minimising administrative burdens for the vast majority of engagers, and HMRC will provide support and guidance to medium and large organisations ahead of implementation.
Taxation of self-funded work-related training – Following consultation responses indicating that tax relief is unlikely to be effective in addressing the barriers to learning or incentivising training, the government is maintaining the scope of tax relief currently available to employees and the self-employed for work-related training costs. Instead, the government is launching the National Retraining Scheme and skills pilots to help those in work, including the self-employed, develop the skills they need to thrive.
Shared occupancy test for rent-a-room relief – Following consultation on draft legislation, to maintain the simplicity of the system the government will not include legislation for the ‘shared occupancy test’ in Finance Bill 2018-19. The government will retain the existing qualifying test of letting in a main or only residence, and will work with stakeholders to ensure that the rules around the relief are clearly understood.
Employment Allowance reform – To target the Employment Allowance (EA) to support smaller businesses, from April 2020 the government will restrict access to employers with an employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) bill below £100,000 in their previous tax year. The EA provides businesses and charities with up to £3,000 off their employer NICs bill.
National Insurance Contributions Bill – As previously announced in September, the government will not abolish Class 2 NICs during this Parliament, given the potential impacts on some of the lowest earning in society. There are two remaining measures in the draft NICs Bill published on 5 December 2016: reforms to the NICs treatment of termination payments and income from sporting testimonials. The government still intends to legislate for these reforms, which will take effect from April 2020.
Following the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC), the government will increase the NLW by 4.9% from £7.83 to £8.21 from April 2019. The government will also accept all of the LPC’s recommendations for the other NMW rates to apply from April 2019,94 including:
Extension of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) – The government will continue the NEA from April 2019 onwards. The NEA provides support and mentoring for benefit claimants who are looking to start or develop their business.
Fuel duty – Fuel duty will be frozen for a ninth successive year saving the average driver a cumulative £1,000 by April 2020,63 compared with what they would have paid under the pre-2010 fuel duty escalator.
Vehicle Excise Duty (VED): Uprating – From 1 April 2019 VED rates for cars, vans and motorcycles will increase in line with RPI. To support the haulage sector, the government will freeze the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) VED for 2019-20.
Vehicle Excise Duty (VED): Vans – The government will shortly publish a summary of responses from the consultation on VED reform for vans, published in May 2018. The response will set out proposals to introduce environmental incentives from April 2021. Bands and rates will be set out ahead of Finance Bill 2019-20.
Vehicle Excise Duty (VED): Blood Bikes – To align the tax treatment of the transportation of blood and medical supplies by the national charity Blood Bikes with other emergency vehicles, the government will introduce an exemption for the purpose-built vehicles operated by Blood Bikes from April 2020.
Company vehicles – From 6 April 2019 fuel benefit charges will increase in line with RPI and the van benefit charge will increase in line with CPI.
Delivering housing investment – At Autumn Budget 2017, the government announced over £15 billion of new financial support, bringing total support for housing to at least £44 billion over a five-year period. The Budget announces further progress to implement this commitment, including:
Housing investment for the long term – In September 2018, the government announced £2 billion new funding in the Affordable Homes Programme to give some housing associations long-term funding certainty to 2028-29. The government announces in this Budget that:
Strategic housing deals – The government will make £10 million capacity funding available to support ambitious housing deals with authorities in areas of high housing demand to deliver above their Local Housing Need.
Help to Buy Equity Loan – The Help to Buy Equity Loan was introduced in 2013 to support the housing market in challenging conditions. By March 2021, the government expects to have invested around £22 billion in the scheme, supporting up to 360,000 households into homeownership. Conditions in the market have improved since 2013: there is a growing number of high Loan to Value products available to first-time buyers, and housing supply continues to increase. To ensure future support is targeted at those who need most help into homeownership, the Budget announces that from April 2021, a new Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme will run for 2 years before closing in March 2023. The new scheme will be available for first-time buyers only, and for houses with a market value up to new regional property price caps, as set out in Table 4.2. These caps are set at 1.5 times the current forecast regional average first-time buyer price, up to a maximum of £600,000 in London. The government does not intend to introduce a further Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme after March 2023.
Lifetime allowance for pensions – The lifetime allowance for pension savings will increase in line with CPI for 2019-20, rising to £1,055,000.
Starting rate for savings – The band of savings income that is subject to the 0% starting rate will be kept at its current level of £5,000 for 2019-20.
Individual Savings Account (ISA) annual subscription limits – The adult ISA annual subscription limit for 2019-20 will remain unchanged at £20,000. The annual subscription limit for Junior ISAs for 2019-20 will be uprated in line with CPI to £4,368.
Child Trust Funds – The government will publish a consultation in 2019 on draft regulations for maturing Child Trust Fund accounts. The annual subscription limit for Child Trust Funds for 2019-20 will be uprated in line with CPI to £4,368.
Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) – The government will increase the Annual Investment Allowance to £1 million for all qualifying investment in plant and machinery made on or after 1 January 2019 until 31 December 2020, to help stimulate business investment.
Structures and buildings allowance (SBA) – New non-residential structures and buildings will be eligible for a 2% capital allowance where all the contracts for the physical construction works are entered into on or after 29 October 2018. This addresses a significant gap in the UK’s current capital allowances regime, and will improve the international competitiveness of the UK’s tax system.
Capital allowances special rate reduction (8% to 6%) – From April 2019, the capital allowances special rate for qualifying plant and machinery assets will be reduced from 8% to 6% to more closely match average accounts depreciation.
Entrepreneurs’ Relief: minimum qualifying period – To support longer-term business investments, from 6 April 2019 the minimum period throughout which the qualifying conditions for relief must be met will be extended from 12 months to 24 months.
Digital services tax (DST) – From April 2020, the government will introduce a new 2% tax on the revenues of certain digital businesses to ensure that the amount of tax paid in the UK is reflective of the value they derive from their UK users. The tax will:
Corporate capital loss restriction – To ensure that large companies pay tax when they make significant capital gains, the government will bring the tax treatment of corporate capital losses into line with the treatment of income losses. From 1 April 2020, the government will restrict the proportion of annual capital gains that can be relieved by brought-forward capital losses to 50%. The measure will include an allowance that gives companies unrestricted use of up to £5 million capital or income losses each year, meaning that 99% of companies will be unaffected.60 The government will consult on the detailed design of this change and legislate in Finance Bill 2019-20. The measure will be subject to anti-avoidance rules that are to apply with immediate effect.
VAT registration threshold – Alongside the Budget, the government is publishing a response to the call for evidence on the design of the VAT threshold. The responses to the call for evidence did not provide a clear option for reform. The VAT threshold will therefore be maintained at the current level of £85,000 for a further 2 years until April 2022.
VAT and vouchers – Following consultation, the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2018-19 to implement EU legislation which ensures that the correct amount of VAT is charged on what the customer pays, irrespective of whether payment is with a voucher or other means of payment.
VAT fraud in labour provision in the construction sector – As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, and following consultation, the government will introduce a VAT domestic reverse charge to prevent VAT losses through so-called ‘Missing Trader’ fraud. This occurs when traders collect VAT on their sales but go missing before passing that VAT on to HMRC. This will shift responsibility for paying VAT along the supply chain to remove the opportunity for it to be stolen by those traders. The new rules will have effect on and after 1 October 2019 and the government is publishing secondary legislation alongside the Budget to implement this change.
VAT and higher education – The government will amend VAT law to ensure continuity of VAT treatment for English higher education providers under the Higher Education and Research Act by enabling bodies registered with the Office for Students in the Approved (fee cap) category to exempt supplies of education.
Alternative method of VAT collection: ‘split payment’ – To reduce online VAT fraud by third country sellers and improve how VAT is collected on cross-border e-commerce, the government is looking at a split payment model. Following the consultation launched at Spring Statement 2018, the government is publishing a response at the Budget. An Industry Working Group will also be established to address some of the main challenges associated with this policy through close cooperation with stakeholders.
Apprenticeships – The government will introduce a package of reforms to strengthen the role of employers in the apprenticeship programme, so they can develop the skills they need to succeed. As part of this:
National Retraining Scheme – The government will work with employers to give workers the opportunity to upskill or retrain. The Budget allocates £100 million for the first phase of the National Retraining Scheme (NRS). This will include a new careers guidance service with expert advice to help people identify work opportunities in their area, and state‑of‑the‑art courses combining online learning with traditional classroom teaching to develop key transferable skills. The National Retraining Partnership between the government, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress will focus on job-specific retraining in phase two.
Skills pilots – The government will fund £20 million of skills pilots. This will include:
T levels – The government will provide £38 million of capital funding to support implementation of the first three T levels in 2020 across 52 providers.
Post-18 education and funding – The government’s review into the post-18 education and funding system in England will ensure that all students are given a genuine choice between high-quality technical, vocational and academic routes in a system accessible to all; students and taxpayers are getting value for money; and employers can access the skilled workforce they need. As part of the review, the government will receive advice from an independent panel, chaired by Philip Augar. The panel will report to ministers at an interim stage before the government concludes the overall review.
Human capital – The government is working with the ONS to better understand how its investment in people helps improve their earning and skills potential. The ONS will consult on how to further measure human capital, and will convene an international meeting of experts in London later this year.
To provide upfront support through the business rates system, the government is cutting bills by one-third for retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000, benefiting up to 90% of retail properties, for 2 years from April 2019, subject to state aid limits.
In the longer term, to support a sustainable transformation of high streets, the Plan includes a £675 million Future High Streets Fund, planning reform, a High Streets Task Force to support local leadership, and funding to strengthen community assets, including the restoration of historic buildings on high streets.
Business rates public lavatories relief – The government will introduce 100% business rates relief for all public lavatories to help keep these important local amenities open.
Business rates local newspaper discount – The government will continue the £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers in 2019-20.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and first-time buyers relief – The government will extend first-time buyers relief in England and Northern Ireland so that all qualifying shared ownership property purchasers can benefit, whether or not the purchaser elects to pay SDLT on the market value of the property. This change will apply to relevant transactions with an effective date on or after 29 October 2018, and will also be backdated to 22 November 2017 so that those eligible who have not previously claimed first-time buyers relief will be able to amend their return to claim a refund.
Consultation on SDLT charge for non-residents – The government will publish a consultation in January 2019 on a SDLT surcharge of 1% for non-residents buying residential property in England and Northern Ireland.
Capital gains tax – To better target private residence relief at owner occupiers, from April 2020 the government will reform lettings relief so that it only applies in circumstances where the owner of the property is in shared occupancy with the tenant. The final period exemption will also be reduced from 18 months to 9 months. The government will consult on these changes. There will be no changes to the 36 months final period exemption available to disabled people or those in a care home.
Following the government’s call for evidence, the government will take action on the problem of single-use plastics waste. This forms part of the government’s wider strategy to address plastics waste, with further detail to be set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy later this year. This will address the current situation where recycling rates of plastic are too low, plastic producers use little recycled plastic and some problematic items are rarely recycled and often end up in the natural environment. The Budget also announces funding for plastics and waste innovation.
Plastic packaging – To reduce the problem of excessive and environmentally harmful plastic packaging, and incentivise manufacturers to use recycled plastic, the government will:
Disposable cups – The government recognises the problems caused by disposable cups, which are difficult to recycle and often littered. The government has concluded that a levy on all cups would not at this time be effective in encouraging widespread reuse. Businesses are already taking steps to limit their environmental impact, but the government expects industry to go further and will return to the issue if sufficient progress is not made. In the meantime, the government will look in the Resources and Waste Strategy at the best way to tackle the environmental impact of cups.
Alcohol duty rates and bands – Duty rates on beer, most cider and spirits will be frozen. Duty on most wine and higher strength sparkling cider will rise by RPI inflation from 1 February 2019. The government will review the current Small Brewers Relief to ensure it is supporting growth in the sector.
Tobacco duty rates – Duty rates on all tobacco products will increase by two percentage points above RPI inflation until the end of this Parliament. Hand rolling tobacco will increase by an additional one percentage point. These changes will come into effect from 6pm on 29 October 2018. To signal its intent to put an end to the illicit trade in all its forms, the government will act on the recommendations of the recent All Party Parliamentary Group report by supporting the creation of a UK-wide Anti-Illicit Trade Group. This will bring together senior officials, representing each of the four parts of the United Kingdom, to share best practice and develop a national strategy for tackling this criminal activity and the societal ills that it fuels.
Minimum Excise Tax – The Minimum Excise Tax for cigarettes will rise to £293.95 per 1,000 cigarettes. This will take effect from 6pm on 29 October 2018.
Tobacco for heating – As announced at Spring Statement 2018, the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2018-19 for a new duty rate for tobacco for heating. In these products processed tobacco is heated (but not burned like conventional tobacco) to produce, or flavour, vapour. This will be set at the same level as hand rolling tobacco and take effect on 1 July 2019.
Gaming duty accounting periods and bands – As announced in HMRC’s consultation response in July 2018, the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2018-19 to remove the requirement for casinos to pay gaming duty on account and to allow the carry forward of losses between accounting periods. The return period for gaming duty will remain 6 months. The bands to determine payment of gaming duty will be frozen from April 2019, while the changes to gaming duty accounting periods are implemented.
Remote Gaming Duty – As announced in May 2018, in order to ensure funding for public services is maintained following the implementation of a £2 maximum stake on B2 machine games, the rate of Remote Gaming Duty will increase to 21%. Both the reduction in maximum stake and increased duty rate will come into effect in October 2019.
Changes to the welfare system since 2010 have brought welfare spending back under control for the first time in decades. Between 1997 and 2010, costs rose unsustainably – by £84 billion in today’s prices.91 The old welfare system also trapped people out of work, because it did not always pay to work. The old welfare system is being replaced with Universal Credit – a simpler system in which it pays to work, where the most vulnerable in society are protected, and which is fair to the taxpayer.
The government is introducing Universal Credit slowly and carefully, and has made changes where necessary. Ahead of the further expansion of Universal Credit, the Budget announces other changes to ensure the system works for everyone.
Universal Credit Work Allowance increase – The Budget announces that the amount that households with children, and people with disabilities can earn before their Universal Credit award begins to be withdrawn – the Work Allowance – will be increased by £1,000 from April 2019. This means that 2.4 million households will keep an extra £630 of income each year.
Extra help for households moving onto Universal Credit – The government has listened to representations made by stakeholders on Universal Credit, and the Budget announces an extensive package of extra support for claimants as they make the transition to Universal Credit.
Building on the Autumn Budget 2017 announcement that Housing Benefit claimants will receive an additional payment providing a fortnight’s worth of support during their transition to Universal Credit, the government will extend this provision to cover the income-related elements of Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support. This will be effective from July 2020.
To support the transition to Universal Credit for all self-employed people, the government is also extending the 12-month grace period (the period before the Minimum Income Floor applies) to all gainfully self-employed people; giving claimants time to grow their businesses to a sustainable level.92 This will be introduced from July 2019 and implemented fully from September 2020.
From October 2019, the government will reduce the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from a Universal Credit award from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance. This will ensure that those on Universal Credit are supported to repay debts in a more sustainable and manageable way. From October 2021, the government will also increase the period over which advances will be recovered, from 12 to 16 months.
Funding for previously announced measures – In addition, the Budget provides funding for the announcements made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in April and June 2018 to support the roll out of Universal Credit. This provided additional protections for welfare claimants, including: enhancements to transitional protection for people moving onto Universal Credit; extending existing support for non-parental carers and adopters in tax credits and Universal Credit; and enhanced protections for those currently receiving the Severe Disability Premium to provide additional support as Universal Credit is implemented.
The government will deliver these changes slowly and carefully. In response to feedback on Universal Credit, the implementation schedule has been updated: it will begin in July 2019, as planned, but will end in December 2023. The scope of the surplus earnings policy in Universal Credit will also be temporarily reduced: it will continue to affect large earnings spikes (above £2,500) until April 2020, when it will revert to affecting earnings spikes of £300.
Housing Benefit – The government continues to ensure that housing benefit is targeted most effectively to support those who need it. This includes:
Parental bereavement leave and pay – The government will introduce a new statutory entitlement to two weeks’ of leave for employees who suffer the death of a child under 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria. This entitlement will come into force in April 2020.
Extension to the closure of childcare vouchers to new entrants – The government listened to the concerns of parents and MPs about the transition from childcare vouchers to Tax-Free Childcare and took the decision to keep childcare vouchers open to new entrants for a further 6 months, until October 2018. This allowed more time for Tax-Free Childcare to bed in and for families to understand their entitlement.
Inclusion of Dupuytren’s contracture in Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit – Dupuytren’s contracture will be added to the existing list of over 70 prescribed diseases for which Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is payable, as recommended by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. Eligible claimants are expected to gain, on average, over £1,200 per year.
Capital gains tax: tackling misuse of Entrepreneurs’ Relief – In addition to the current requirements on share capital and voting rights, from 29 October 2018 shareholders must also be entitled to at least 5% of the distributable profits and net assets of a company to claim the relief. This is to address an identified abuse of the current rules.
Profit fragmentation – As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2018-19 to introduce targeted legislation that aims to prevent UK businesses from avoiding UK tax by arranging for their UK-taxable business profits to accrue to entities resident in territories where significantly lower tax is paid than in the UK. The taxable UK profits will be increased to the actual, commercial level.
Reforming Stamp taxes on shares consideration rules – The government will consult on aligning the consideration rules of Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax and introducing a general market value rule for transfers between connected persons. Reforming consideration rules will simplify Stamp taxes on shares and prevent contrived arrangements being used to avoid tax. From 29 October 2018, a targeted market value rule will be introduced for listed shares transferred to connected companies to prevent forestalling.
Preventing abuse of R&D tax relief for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – To help prevent abuse of the payable credit, from 1 April 2020, the amount of payable R&D tax credit that a qualifying loss-making company can receive in any tax year will be restricted to three times the company’s total PAYE and NICs liability for that year. This will ensure the relief is robust against identified abuse, including fraud, following the prevention by HMRC of fraudulent claims worth £300 million.68 The government will consult on this change.
VAT grouping – The government will legislate in Finance Bill 2018-19 to extend the eligibility to join a VAT group to certain non-corporate entities. In addition, revised VAT grouping guidance will be issued to:
These guidance changes will be published in draft and come into effect from 1 April 2019.
VAT Specified Supplies Order – As announced in July 2018, the government will legislate to prevent a version of VAT avoidance (known as ‘looping’) that involves UK insurers setting up associates in non-VAT territories and using these associates to supply their UK customers. This allows them to reclaim VAT on costs that UK based competitors are unable to reclaim.
Unfulfilled supplies – The government will amend rules from 1 March 2019 to bring consistency to the VAT treatment of prepayments. This change will bring all prepayments for goods and services into the scope of VAT where customers have been charged VAT but have failed to collect what they have paid for and have not received a refund.
Regulation 38 – The government will introduce stricter rules for how and when adjustments to VAT should be made following a reduction in price. Secondary legislation will tighten definitions for Regulation 38 and ensure a credit note is issued to customers. This will guarantee businesses are transparent and do not benefit from VAT that is due to the consumer or the Exchequer.
Electronic sales suppression (ESS) – The government will publish a call for evidence later in the year on ESS. ESS refers to the misuse of electronic point of sale functions (i.e. till systems), which is undertaken by a minority of businesses in order to hide or reduce the value of individual transactions and the corresponding tax liabilities.
Protecting your taxes in insolvency – From 6 April 2020, when a business enters insolvency, more of the taxes paid in good faith by its employees and customers, and temporarily held in trust by the business, will go to fund public services rather than being distributed to other creditors. This reform will only apply to taxes collected and held by businesses on behalf of other taxpayers (VAT, PAYE Income Tax, employee NICs, and Construction Industry Scheme deductions). The rules will remain unchanged for taxes owed by businesses themselves, such as Corporation Tax and employer NICs.
Tax abuse and insolvency – Following Royal Assent of Finance Bill 2019-20, directors and other persons involved in tax avoidance, evasion or phoenixism will be jointly and severally liable for company tax liabilities, where there is a risk that the company may deliberately enter insolvency.
Conditionality: hidden economy – Following the consultation ‘Tackling the hidden economy: public sector licensing’ published in December 2017, the government will consider legislating at Finance Bill 2019-20 to introduce a tax registration check linked to licence renewal processes for some public sector licences. Applicants would need to provide proof they are correctly registered for tax in order to be granted licences. This would make it more difficult to operate in the hidden economy, helping to level the playing field for compliant businesses.
International tax enforcement: disclosable arrangements – The government is enacting new legislation to allow the introduction of international disclosure rules about offshore structures that could avoid tax, or could be misused to evade tax.
Offshore tax compliance strategy – The government will publish an updated offshore tax compliance strategy. This will build on the substantial progress the UK has made in tackling offshore tax evasion and non-compliance since the government’s previous strategy was published in 2014.
Reducing administrative burdens on charities – From April 2019, the government will introduce a package of measures to reduce administrative burdens on charities. These will:
A new railcard for all young people aged 26 to 30, available nationally by the end of the year. The first digital only railcard will offer up to a 1/3 off most rail travel.
"it was a budget for hard working families, who live their lives far from Westminster and care little for the twists and turns of Westminster politics. People who get up early in the morning to: open up factories, shops, and building sites; to drop their kids off at school; to check on elderly relatives and neighbours. The strivers, the grafters and the carers who are the backbone of our communities and our economy. People who ask only of Government that we protect the jobs that put food on their table. That we deliver the public services their families rely on and that we do it efficiently, minimising the amount of tax we need to take from their hard-earned wages. People who we, on this side of the House, are proud to represent. So I say to them; This Budget is unashamedly for you."
"We now have it confirmed that the pledge to end austerity was a broken promise, like the whole budget. It is now clear austerity is not over, the cuts to social security will continue and Philip Hammond gave no assurances that departments won’t face further cuts. Eight years of destructive austerity has damaged our economy, damaged people’s incomes and damaged our essential services. There is nothing in today’s budget to repair the damage to schools, the police and local councils. The money promised for Universal Credit is less than a third of the £7bn of social security cuts still to come and today’s announcement on work allowances reverses just over half the cuts made in 2015. While hitting those most vulnerable in our society, the Tories will have handed out £110bn in corporate tax giveaways by the end of this Parliament. This is immoral and Labour will end this unfairness, end austerity and rebuild Britain for the many, not the few.”
“This was a rock-solid budget, bringing more treats than tricks for business. It recognises the enormous contribution enterprise has made to balancing the UK’s books through jobs, pay and tax and responds to many of the recommendations that firms have made. But while the Chancellor has reduced some of biggest barriers to growth, he has missed some opportunities. That said, the new investment in broadband, research, housing and infrastructure will help tackle the UK’s glaring regional equalities head on. On the apprenticeship levy; Ongoing reform of the apprenticeship levy and collaboration with business on retraining reflects long-standing business advice and will help individuals adapt to a fast-changing world of work.
“In an atmosphere of unprecedented uncertainty and heightened political noise, the Chancellor has demonstrated that he is listening to business concerns by delivering a Budget that supports investment and growth. The Chancellor responded directly to the BCC’s calls for bold incentives to turbo-charge business investment, for steps to support high street businesses struggling with business rates, and for measures that cut the cost of apprenticeships for SMEs. Philip Hammond has sent important and positive signals to businesses across the UK, many of whom have been wavering on investment and hiring. Crucially, the Chancellor has avoided major increases to business tax to fund the government’s spending priorities, which would have undermined the confidence boost to firms from his commitments to supporting enterprise and growth.”