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Spring Statement: the highlights

13 March 2018

What can we take from Chancellor Phil Hammond’s first Spring Statement? Well, perhaps firstly the belief that tax can change behaviour (when it comes to plastic), and the fact he loves a consultation!
So, the government is seeking your views on late payment, tax relief for training and the VAT mechanism for online trading, to name three.
Here are the highlights...
• Supporting people to get the skills they need - the government is seeking views on extending the current tax relief to support self-employed people and employees when they fund their own training
• Plans announced to bring forward business rate revaluation to 2021, with tri-annual reviews in the future. The first of these will take place in 2024.
• A consultation will take place on a new VAT collection service for online purchases. The Chancellor wants to ensure what VAT consumers pay gets to the Treasury! He will also be looking at how online platforms can help their users to pay the right amount of tax.
• The government is also looking for views on how it can encourage a cashless/digital society, while ensuring cash remains available for those who need it.
• To help hit its 3 million apprenticeship target the education secretary is to be given £80m of funding to help small businesses to ‘engage’ an apprenticeship.
• Turning to disposable plastics (coffee cups & cutlery) the Chancellor said he wants to use the tax system to change behaviour and stimulate innovation. So ,expect a possible tax on single-use plastic. Hammond is providing £20m for businesses and universities who can help stimulate ‘new thinking’.
• Measures to end late payment for firms, but not before another consultation.
• From April the government will release up to £50m to employers to help create the placements for the new T-level qualifications. There will be a T-Level in accountancy as part of the second wave of qualifications.
• Inflation to fall back to 2% by 2018, says the OBR.

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