MORE than a billion pounds of business and employment reliefs and extensions have been revealed by chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement.
The incentives are aimed at driving business growth and investment. The biggest impact is extending the small business rate relief for another year into 2015/16, which will cost the Treasury £500m.
Abolishing employer NICs for apprentices under 25-years old is estimated at costing £450m between 2016/17 and 2019/20.
A series of smaller measures were also announced, including the extension of employment allowance to carers; an increase of the retail discount for business rates to £1,500; and an increase to R&D tax credits.
“These measures are welcomed” said Kevin Hindley, tax partner at Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK. “It continues the plan of making us a better place of business, and pitched at a realistic level.”
Simon Tivey, partner at PwC, said the retail discount was “pleasantly surprising news”.
There was some disappointment that Osborne didn’t go further. John Cridland, CBI director-general, said: “The targeted focus on enterprise is right, but business innovators would have liked to see more on research and development (R&D) to boost UK investment.”
However he said the big changes around stamp duty land tax and businesses rates would be a “shot in the arm”.
The introduction of tax breaks for childrens’ live-action TV would help to ensure the industry remained “dynamic”, said EY head of technology, media and telcos Jean-Benoit-Berty.
HMRC is continuing to ramp up the number of raids on premises it carries out as part of criminal investigations, searching 761 properties in the last year
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