What the Spring Budget Means for SMEs

The Spring Budget 2019

The Spring Budget was announced on March 13th by Chancellor Philip Hammond.  Whilst the announcement may be a fiscal ‘non -event’ for many with Brexit dominating the stage,  there are some interesting developments to take note of.


Minimum Wage is Rising


For those aged 25 and over, the national living wage will increase by 4.9% on April 1st from £7.83 to £8.21.


The rise means for the lowest-paid workers, it will exceed both inflation and average earnings.  Reports show wages increasing at their fastest pace in over a decade whilst employment levels have been rising since 2010.


Co-Investment Rate Cut by Half


More SMEs will be encouraged to take on apprentices, as employers will see the co-investment rate they pay cut from 10% to 5%. For levy-paying employers, they’ll be able to share levy funds across their supply chains with the amount rising from 10% to 25%.


There will be an extra 3 million Apprenticeships created to help young people retrain in careers that there are current skill shortages in. The Chancellor announced that a £700 million package will be given out to help SMEs invest in apprenticeships, from April 1st.


The Digital Economy Set to Become Fairer


There’s no doubt the digital economy provides great employment opportunities for the UK. However, it’s been recognised that the market is currently out of balance.


With technology giants coming under increasing fire for abusing their power of position, a call to make the digital markets fairer has been announced.  


A recent report has been devised which outlines recommendations to change the UK’s digital approach and tackle issues such as: antitrust enforcement. mergers, data protection, predatory pricing, advertising standards and to encourage innovation and customer choice.


Capital Allowances for New Non-Residential Structures and Buildings


The budget announcement in 2018, meant SBA will be available for new construction expenditure on non-residential buildings and structures.  


The  capital allowance will be given over 50 years at a rate of 2% per annum.   The SBA is said to be a serious commitment to enable the UK market to become a prime destination for investment in structural assets.


Comments are still being added to the draft legislation until  April 24th and they can be sent to: contact.capital allowances@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.


Once in force,  the relief will be allowed to be claimed for costs incurred on or after October 29th 2018.