Autumn Statement - SBF’s Summary

The Autumn Statement was broadly welcomed by small business bodies

Chancellor George Osborne unveiled his much-anticipated Autumn Statement yesterday, causing the usual clambering amongst MPs and political parties for position.

Here at Skipton Business Finance, we’ve cut it down to the bare bones and analysed the key points that will affect small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).

See our analysis of the Autumn Statement below, or click on the links below to scroll down:

1. Fuel Duty
2. Business Taxes
3. Transport
4. Ultra Fast Broadband


Fuel Duty

One of the highlights of the Autumn Statement for SMEs across all sectors was the cancellation of the 3p-a-litre increase in fuel duty, which was set to be implemented in January.

The announcement was cheered by Osborne's colleagues, as it was largely unexpected.

Osborne stated this would be a “real help” for businesses, and we’d be inclined to agree, as the duty rise would have increased the average cost of filling a tank by £2.53.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) announced it was pleasantly surprised by the news, as thousands of its members were set to suffer from the increase in fuel duty. It stated on its website, “Today’s news will mean a happier Christmas for motorists and hauliers alike. Let us hope that it will also mean a prosperous New Year.”

Business Taxes

Corporation tax is to be cut by another 1% in April 2014, meaning the rate will stand at 21%, whilst the small business rate relief scheme will also be extended by an extra year to April 2014.

Food manufacturers and producers welcomed the cut in corporation tax, highlighting changes as benefiting the food and drink manufacturing industry and encouraging business investment and growth.

Ed Carney, Head of Marketing at Skipton Business Finance, said: "It's a small step in the right direction. The 1 per cent cut in corporation tax is a nice step towards helping micro and small-to-medium sized businesses grow."

He added: "Our clients are really feeling the squeeze of economic conditions so it good news that we are heading towards a 20 per cent single rate."

Transport

Following calls for the UK’s road infrastructure to be improved from such business representation bodies as the RHA, it was announced that a further £1bn will be pumped into improving major roads such as the A1, A30 and M25.

The RHA’s Chief Executive Geoff Dunning was pleased with the decision: “It is encouraging to know that the Road Haulage Association has a voice that is listened to”.

As a proud supporter of the transport and logistics sector, we’re pleased to have funded many hauliers over the past 11 years. It’s a sector that often bears the brunt of austerity measures, so extra funding to improve the road infrastructure should act as an economic multiplier and help hauliers in the long term grow their businesses.

Ultra-Fast Broadband

12 extra cities across the UK will benefit from ultra-fast broadband; these being Aberdeen, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Derry-Londonderry, Newport, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth and Salford.

This should help out SMEs across many sectors in these cities during a time when many are seeing the benefits of using the internet to help improve and expand their businesses.