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Autumn Budget 2017 : SMALL BUSINESS EDITION


The Autumn Budget posed some challenges for Mr Hammond, as the self-employed listened carefully for announcements on the likes of VAT, business rates, and investment.

Here's our key points for Small Businesses:

Overall economic outlook:

The UK’s growth forecast has been cut to 1.5% from 2%. GDP forecasts have been cut to 1.4%, 1.3%, and 1.5% for the following years. The UK will set aside £3 billion for possible Brexit outcomes. Borrowing is forecast to fall from this year on. Debt will hit a peak of 86.5% of GDP this year, and will fall in following years.

Personal taxation:

The tax-free personal allowance will increase to £11,850 from April 2018. The threshold at which taxpayers pay the higher rate will rise to £46,350 from next year.

Business tax:

The VAT threshold will be frozen at £85,000 for at least two years. Business rates will be indexed to CPI from next year, which could see a rates reduction of around 1%. After the next revaluation, business rates revaluations will occur every three years. The main R&D tax credit rate will be increased to 12%.

Vehicle tax:

Excise duty for older diesel cars will rise from April 2018, but van owners will be exempt. The scheduled April 2018 fuel duty rise for both petrol and diesel cars has been scrapped.

Business investment:

The government has set aside £2.3 billion for investment in R&D. The British Business Bank will receive a funding boost, unlocking £13 billion to fund UK SMEs. The Chancellor confirmed the introduction of a national retraining scheme focusing on digital skills and construction. It is thought the Enterprise Investment Scheme will be expanded to make investment in scalable tech business easier.

Wages:

The National Living Wage will increase by 4.4% to £7.83 from April 2018.

Infrastructure investment:

There is a new £500 million fund for 5G mobile and fibre broadband. A further £540 million will be invested in electric cars and charging points. £1.7 billion has been set aside for transport in city regions

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