Yesterday saw Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, deliver the Autumn Budget to the waiting UK public. With reactions to the statement both positive and negative, it can be said that announcements for business related topics were rather thin on the ground, and therefore the business community is still left questioning a number of aspects that were predicted to be within the Budget but of which Hammond failed to address.
However, there were a number of announcements that will indeed directly impact both the contractor community and recruiters throughout the UK.
The Taylor Review, published in July this year, explored modern working practices including the implications on new forms of work on the rights of workers and responsibilities. It was announced within the Budget that the government will publish a formal response to the review, exploring the case for reforms in light of the findings.
The VAT registration threshold for businesses has been frozen for the next two years at £85,000, a positive step for the contracting industry as there had been stark warnings that a reduction could amount to serious cash flow issues for contractors.
Although not a focus of the Budget we do know that IR35 for the public sector is thought to be increasing compliance, therefore extending this to the private sector will be considered during a consultation into how non-compliance in the private sector can be tackled effectively. The consultation will be published in 2018. It has been suggested that this could have a significant impact to contractors and therefore responses to any proposal that is henceforth should be voiced at the earliest possible moment.
Tax avoidance and evasion
The issue of tax avoidance has been a significant topic of discussion in 2017, particularly in light of the Criminal Finance Act and the Paradise Papers on tax avoidance amongst high profile figures. The government outlined plans to tackle this issue within the budget, although remained vague on the exact details of how this will be done.
The housing market will see a substantial investment in 2018, with £44 billion promised. For construction contractors, this could potentially lead to a wealth of new opportunities.
As we have outlined, the forthcoming year could present both positive and negative outcomes as a result of the Autumn Budget announcements, keep an eye on our news page for further updates as and when more information is presented.