News: The Budget – Support for Business

Posted on 29th November 2017

Autumn Budget 2017 Support for Business
• Support for business is at the heart of the Budget. It promotes the UK as a great place to develop a business, provides targeted support for firms in the near term and sets out additional investments in skills, infrastructure and innovation to build the new economy in the long term.

In the near term, business will benefit from: • a business rates package saving businesses £2.3 billion by 2022-23. It includes: o saving all ratepayers money by switching indexation from RPI to CPI from April 2018, two years earlier than planned. By 2022-23, in England, this will have saved the average high street shop £800, the average pub £1,480, and the average restaurant £1,680 o revaluing properties every three years, instead of five, following the next revaluation, which is currently due in 2022 o legislating to address the so-called ‘staircase tax’, where a recent Supreme Court judgement increased bills for some businesses in multi-occupancy buildings. Businesses will be able to ask for the change to be backdated o continuing the £1,000 discount for pubs in England with a rateable value of up to £100,000 • a fuel duty freeze for the eighth successive year, saving the average van driver £400 per year and an HGV driver £3,600 per year compared to pre-2010 plans • the extension of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee to March 2022, securing up to £500 million worth of loans to small businesses each year • action to unlock the potential of UK exporters and their suppliers through a new UK Export Finance product to support export supply chains

To make sure everyone has the skills they need, the Budget announces: • another £261 million will be invested in maths and computer science education. This will include tripling the number of fully-qualified computer science teachers to 12,000 and providing £600 to schools and colleges for each additional 16 year old pupil who decides to study Maths A Level or Core Maths • the government will continue to work with employers on how the Apprenticeship Levy can be spent so that the levy works effectively and flexibly for industry, and supports productivity. • to develop the National Retraining Scheme, the government will enter into a formal skills partnership with the Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industry. As a first step, we will invest £64m in digital and construction training

To improve the infrastructure that businesses rely on, the Budget announces: • the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), introduced last year, will be extended to 2022-23 and increased to £31 billion. This increase will support jobs and growth by investing in housing, transport, R&D and digital communications across the UK. Excluding the exceptional years following the financial crisis, overall public investment will reach its highest level in 30 years by 2020-21 (as a percentage of GDP) • a Transforming Cities Fund will invest almost £1.7 billion to improve local transport and tackle congestion. Half will be allocated via competition and half will be allocated to the six areas with elected metro-mayors: £74 million for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, £243 million for Greater Manchester, £134 million for Liverpool City Region, £80 million for West of England, £250 million for West Midlands and £59 million for Tees Valley • Over £15 billion of new financial support for house building over the next five years, bringing total support for housing to at least £44 billion over this period, and planning reforms to ensure more land is available for housing
To support investment in new technology, innovation and R&D, the Budget announces: • the largest boost to R&D support for 40 years. Government spending on R&D will increase by a further £2.3 billion in 2021-22, taking total spend on R&D in that year to £12.5 billion.

The industrial strategy white paper will provide further detail on what this funding will support • the R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC) will be made more generous, increasing support for businesses investing in R&D, with the rate increasing from 11% to 12% on 1 January 2018 • to strengthen our world leading position in R&D, the government is making it easier to employ international scientists and researchers, and encouraging top international researchers to stay in the UK and contribute to the UK research sector • the government will unlock over £20 billion of new investment to finance growth in innovative firms. The 10-year action plan includes: o a new Investment Fund within the British Business Bank o extending and re-directing investment through the Enterprise Investment Scheme o removing barriers to growth within Entrepreneur’s Relief o supporting long-term investment by pension funds and other investors • a major package to ensure we are a world leader in electric cars, including: o £200 million government investment, matched by the private sector, in a new £400 million fund to support the growth of chargepoint companies across the UK o an extra £100 million of NPIF funding for the Plug-In Car Grant to help consumers with the upfront cost of battery electric cars o regulatory measures to accelerate the deployment of charging infrastructure • expanding Tech City to become ‘Tech Nation’ to help people start and grow a digital business anywhere in the UK. This will roll out successful support programmes to new hubs in Cambridge; Bristol and Bath; Manchester; Leeds and Sheffield; Newcastle; Reading; Birmingham; Edinburgh and Glasgow; Belfast; and Cardiff

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