As is the case with any budget in recent times there is a mix of good and bad news for both consumer and business and the one delivered last week by the Chancellor was somewhat flat, (a bit like the 1p reduction in beer duty). This will do nothing to radically get the UK out of the economic woes for some years, with projections of better times past the next election. No matter who is in power politics appears to be more important than positive action.
There was good news for the increase in personal allowance for 2013/14 and the £10k allowance for the following year. The non addition of duty on petrol is not actually a saving to consumers who are consistently paying higher prices from the oil companies anyway.
For small businesses, the additional National Insurance relief of £2k on the hiring of new employees is a welcome move however this is not effective until April 2014. The move to a 20% corporation tax rate is good for larger corporate enterprises but does nothing for the rest of business. Other good news was the increase in annual investment relief for plant and machinery to £250k which reverses the decrease from last year and is effective for two years.
If you have a business with a will, but no senior level resource to implement operational improvements, strategic restructuring or if there is a project that requires review and delivery, an independent short-term interim finance director may be a way to make the changes. MW Interim Finance can provide a dedicated commercially focused finance director and business partner in “managing change effectively”. Visit www.mwinterimfinance.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One month to go before the end of the tax year and the banks and pension investors are inundating us all with the “use your ISA allowances” and “maximise your pension contributions before the changes next tax year”. Interest rates remain pitiful and again the rates are being reduced across the board yet again on all taxable and tax free savings and investments. Even dividend yields are falling, some of which driven by increases in share values. Possibly now may be the time to invest in shares and the FTSE hitting a five year high this week would seem to indicate that investors are coming back into equities.
All the above assumes that consumers, who have been suffering for the past five years with increased food, fuel and transport costs, coupled with little or no wage increases, (for those who have a job), have any spare money to save. For any employees who do not currently belong to any type of pension scheme there is potentially another outflow, (albeit with a longer term benefit), the auto enrolment by companies and their employees into the NEST pension scheme or equivalent.
Many smaller companies do not know;-
- Their company’s auto enrolment date
- How many employees are affected, depending on their annual salary
- What changes are required from a payroll and HR perspective
- Communications and financial controls
- Cash flow implications with employers having to contribute on an increasing sliding scale over the next few years
MW Interim Finance has recently assisted in providing some thought provoking feedback on the above to a business who employs a large number of temporary and part-time workers, as well as a permanent workforce. It was a complicated scenario that required a thorough knowledge of the HMRC rules to ensure the company planned its strategy accordingly.
This is just one aspect of how MW Interim Finance could help your business; from operational issues through to restructuring and managing strategic change effectively.