Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 3rd December 2014
George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons today and made a number of announcements likely to impact or at least interest SMEs and company directors around the UK.
Here’s an overview of some of the key announcements from the Chancellor:
A temporary doubling of business rate relief was announced in 2013 but could yet be extended with policy makers to revisit the issue in March of next year.
As an extension of an existing incentive for innovation among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), those companies involved in research and development are to see their tax credit payments increase.
Companies involved in exporting products overseas are to get an extra £45 million worth of support from the government.
Employers who take on young apprentices to work for them will no longer be required to pay National Insurance in relation to those members of their workforce.
The scheme designed to help small businesses access credit from banks is to be extended for a further year.
A further £500 million worth of new business loans are to be backed up by government funds via its Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and the British Business Bank, which was established in 2012.
The Chancellor announced that a new sovereign wealth fund is to be created to deliver sizeable investment into cities in the north of England, which it is hoped might collectively come to rival the scale of economic activity in London.
There were also a number of announcements relating to planned infrastructure investments around the country with £2 billion to be allocated to flood defence improvements and £15 billion to cover 84 road projects in England in years to come.
More generally, the Chancellor aimed to paint a relatively rosy picture of the UK economy and its prospects, pointing to a GDP growing faster than any other G7 country and saying that the British economy will grow by 3 per cent over the course of this year.