The last few weeks have seen a celebration of British talent at the Brits and the Oscars, creative business continuing to dominate the economy and yesterday saw the latest from Mr Osborne. We know the budget can be difficult to digest so we have picked out some relevant highlights to make it a little easier to swallow, a more detailed report is available here.
Good news for SME’s
The Government has doubled Small Business Rate Relief for the past 2 years, which has resulted in 385,000 SMEs not being required to pay business rates since 2014. It was revealed that 600,000 small businesses will be taken out of business rates; potentially saving them £6,000 a year. 250,000 firms will pay less in businesses rates. This is good news for businesses who have undertaken a number of burdens recently such as auto enrolment and the Living Wage.
Pushing forward with G5
To help increase productivity Osborne pledged to speed up planning and prepare Britain for G5 technology. A G5 network would facilitate a super-efficient and super-fast mobile network, as well as a converged fibre-wireless network.
- Corporation Tax to drop to 17% in 2020.
- Changes to Corporation Tax loss relief – more flexible to use, but the amount limited to 50%.
- Small business rate relief to rise from £6,000 to £15,000 – half of all businesses will see their business rates fall.
- Scrap the link between business rates and the Retail Prices Index, and instead from 2020 use the typically lower Consumer Prices Index as a measure of inflation.
- Commercial property Stamp Duty to be overhauled.
- Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) to rise by 0.5%.
- CGT to be cut to 20% (but not for residential property).
- Entrepreneurs’ Relief to be extended to long term unconnected investors.
- Increased tax rate of 32.5% on loans to close company participators
- For the under 40s there will be a new Lifetime ISA, allowing younger people to save for their first home and/or their retirement. For every £4 saved the Government will contribute £1.
- Tax free personal allowance to rise to £11,500 in April 2017 – giving a tax break for 31 million people.
- Higher rate tax threshold to rise to £45,000 in April 2017.
Finest British Talent Awarded
British actor Mark Rylance was named Best Supporting Actor at the 2016 Oscars – one of six British winners at the event. Rylance picked up the Oscar for his performance in ‘Bridge of Spies’, the Steven Spielberg-directed movie about Cold War espionage.
Brits clean up at the BRITS
The BRITS music awards rewarded the global appeal of UK acts Adele, Coldplay and One Direction in a ceremony which also recognised the iconic work of the late David Bowie. Record-setting Adele picked up four awards at the event including best British Single, the Mastercard Album of the Year, British Female Solo Artist and the Global Success award. All three acts helped the UK occupy five positions in the top 10 of the most globally successful music acts during 2015.