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Spring Statement 2019

13 March 2019

Our summary of the Spring Statement 2019...

*It was confirmed that Making Tax Digital (MTD) will not be mandated for any other taxes or businesses in 2020. From 1 April 2019 VAT registered businesses with a turnover over the VAT threshold (£85,000) will be required to maintain digital accounting records and file their VAT returns directly from MTD compliant software. The government also confirmed a light touch approach to penalties in the first year. There is no soft landing for late payment penalties (default surcharge).

*On late payment company audit committees will be required to review and report on their late payment practices. That means coming clean on their record in their annual accounts. A review of payment practices will also take place

*The Treasury will fund the provision of free sanitary products in schools and colleges from next year. This will, says the Chancellor, help to tackle “period poverty at school”.

*To help small businesses cut their carbon emissions and their energy bills, there has been a call for evidence on the Business Energy Efficiency Scheme.

*Update to the apprenticeship deal announced at Budget: From 1 April employers will see the co-investment rate they pay cut by half from 10% to 5%. At the same time as levy-paying employers are able to share more levy funds across their supply chains, with the maximum amount rising from 10% to 25%.

*The government has appointed Professor Arindajit Dube to undertake a review of the latest international evidence on minimum wage, to inform future National Wage policy after 2020.

*From June 2019 citizens of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea will be permitted to use e-gates at UK airports and at Eurostar terminals. Landing cards will also begin to be abolished from June 2019.

*Research institutes and innovating businesses will benefit from an exemption for PhD-level occupations from the cap on high-skilled visas from this autumn.

*The government has written to the CMA asking them to carry out a market study of the digital advertising market. This was a recommendation of the Furman Review.

*A new £3bn affordable homes guarantee scheme, to support delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.

*To help maintain our tech edge he announced a £79m investment in ARCHER2, a supercomputer to be hosted at Edinburgh University.

*UK growth is forecast to grow by 1.2% this year and 1.4% next year 2020. Then its 1.6% in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

*Borrowing this year will be £3bn lower than forecast. Public debt will fall to 73% of GDP by 2023/24.

*Unemployment rate of 4% is the lowest since 1975. Since 2010 there are over 3.5m more people in work, and the OBR forecasts employment will increase by a further 600,000 by 2023.


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