6th December 2013
The UK and Ireland arm of global accountancy alliance MGI has welcomed measures in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement which will benefit businesses, including more support for businesses looking for international trade opportunities.
Mr Osborne said that while “Britain’s economic plan is working”, there was still work to do to ensure the economy’s long-term security. He also unveiled a raft of measures aimed at business owners, saying: “We are backing Britain’s businesses all the way.”
One of the key measures announced was the doubling to £50 billion of the export finance capacity available to support UK businesses looking to tap into the export market.
Other measures included a £1,000 reduction on business rates for smaller retailers with a rateable value of up to £50,000, including smaller shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. The temporary doubling of small business rate relief will be extended by another year to April 2015, while the rise in general business rates will be capped at 2% rather than being linked to RPI inflation.
The Chancellor is also hoping to encourage businesses to move into empty high street retail premises by offering a 50% reoccupation relief. Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will be scrapped for under-21s, lifting around 1.5 million jobs out of employer NICs completely.
The Government will also expand its start-up loans scheme, with the aim of helping 50,000 more people to start their own businesses.
Paul Winder, area co-ordinator for MGI UK and Ireland, said: “With an increasing number of businesses now recognising the benefits of overseas trade, news that the support available to help them do so is welcomed by our members and their clients.
“This year’s Autumn Statement also brings encouraging news for small businesses, although whether these measures will have the anticipated impact on the economy remains to be seen.”