ICAEW: How the Budget will affect SMEs

Stephen Ibbotson, director of business at at Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), talks to The Maven about the Spring Budget 2016 announcement and issues that are affecting SMEs such as the apprenticeship levy.

Call to rethink apprenticeship levy

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) pressed the government to rethink plans for a so-called apprenticeship levy, arguing that smaller businesses may lose out.

Chancellor George Osborne first announced the apprenticeship levy in 2015’s summer budget in July, and revealed in November's Autumn Statement that the levy would be a 0.5% payroll tax for companies whose wage bills exceed £3m. Revenues from the levy are expected to be reallocated in the form of funding for businesses to hire apprentices, reported City A.M.

According to CIOT, the proposed levy – set to go into effect IN 2017 – will hurt smaller businesses whose aggregate pay bill is bigger than £3m, even if the pay bill of any one employer falls below that figure.

"We believe that this situation is unfair and that the levy allowance should be available for offset against the combined pay bills of all employers where aggregation applies," said Colin Ben-Nathan, chair of the CIOT employment taxes subcommittee. "We would therefore urge the government to reconsider the approach on this point."

‘SMEs lose faith in Osborne as tax hikes loom’

Just a third of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) think chancellor George Osborne's budget policies will be good for businesses, according to a survey.

MarketInvoice has revealed smaller firms have shown a serious "lack of faith in any measures George Osborne may seek to put in place", reported International Business Times.

MarketInvoice surveyed 1,000 SMEs and found that just over a quarter of small businesses - with fewer than 50 employers - expect policies that will be good for businesses. A third of SMEs do not expect any helpful initiatives at all.

"The chancellor has lost his audience," Anil Stocker, MarketInvoice's co-founder and chief executive, said. "Business owners are juggling a thousand different problems every day, and have no faith that the government will find ways to help them out. With so many businesses expecting nothing useful at all from the Budget, it might be time for the chancellor to go back to the drawing board."

George Osborne prepares Budget 'for long term'

George Osborne will set out £4bn in extra spending cuts and announce investment in the UK's infrastructure when he presents his Budget to MPs.

The Budget will "choose the long term" the chancellor will say, warning that the "storm clouds are gathering again", reported the BBC.

His eighth Budget will include £1.5bn to turn all state schools in England into academies and extend school hours.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Budget looked to be "a press stunt to hide George Osborne's failures".

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