You and your business : The Budget – a simple guide for contractors
The Chancellor of the Exchequer recently announced The Budget, a statement on the nation’s finances and how the Government proposes it spend its money. But what does it mean and how will it affect you and your business? Fear not, we’ve pulled together the most relevant points for the construction industry and the impact it might have on you.
The borrowing cap has been lifted to allow local authorities to build more housing, which is great news for contractors. There has also been £500m promised for the Housing Infrastructure Fund to fund a further 650,000 new homes. With strict housing targets to meet, we’re expecting to see an increase in new builds around the country and the Government will be depending on our workforce to carry this out. This has been reinforced by guarantees of up to £1bn for smaller house-builders, which means it won’t just be the bigger developers that will be requiring work over the next 12 months.
Health and education
It was also announced that a one-off £400m bonus has been released to help schools buy "the little extras they need". This can be anything from pencils to building repairs, so good news for those that work in the education sector. Healthcare has also seen some investment with new mental health crisis centres to be built in every accident and emergency unit in the country, which will require significant amounts of construction work.
For those with an apprenticeship scheme, or looking to take on an apprentice; the Budget allocated £695m to support apprenticeships and has halved the contribution to the apprenticeship levy for smaller firms from 10% to 5%. It seems there’s never been a better time to invest in the industry and take on an apprentice, but bear in mind, this will only come into effect for new starters once the decrease has been formally introduced into Government.
The personal allowance threshold, the rate at which people start paying income tax at 20%, will be raised from £11,850 to £12,500 as of April 2019, a year earlier than planned. This means you will have a little extra money in your pay each month. It may only be £10 a month, but every little helps! The higher rate income tax threshold, the point at which people start paying tax at 40%, has also risen from £46,350 to £50,000.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the potential for Theresa May to increase the fuel duty for the first time in almost a decade. It was, however, announced that she would be extending the freeze on fuel duty for another year which means we won’t be paying more tax on fuel, ideal for contractors who may be on the road all day.
The cost of a pint
Finally, beer, cider and spirits duties have been frozen, meaning we won’t be paying more for a pint. For the pinot grigio drinkers out there, the cost of a bottle of wine is set to rise by 8p, in line with inflation, in February but that’s hardly breaking the bank.