Chancellor helps SMEs, overlooks freelancers in Autumn Statement

Money, News

In front of the Commons today Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement, outlining how he hopes to aid Britain’s economic recovery. Beset by grim financial news all week, Osborne needed to deliver a solid plan for growth and meaningful legislative change to help the UK’s freelancers, contractors and small businesses.

After initially being laughed back into his seat following an overly optimistic opening statement, the Chancellor went on to detail the state of the UK economy. As you would expect, he highlighted the current Government’s achievements, including a 25% cut of the deficit in 2 years, and an additional 1.2 million private sector jobs in the same period (600,000 more than predicted).

It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops though – Osborne shared the results of an OBR forecast that cut growth projections significantly. Importantly, he confirmed that overall UK debt will not begin to fall until after the next election – missing a key Government target. The message was clear, however; the economy is recovering, and we have a long road ahead of us.

Employment is expected to keep rising, and the Chancellor revealed the UK now has a greater proportion of its population in employment than either the Eurozone or the US.

Like last year there was little to be pleased about for freelancers and contractors.

The Small Business Bank, designed to house the Government’s various investment and incentive schemes, will go ahead with around £1 billion in funding – although quite where those funds are destined to go is as yet unknown.

The personal allowance will be rising more than originally announced, up to £9,440 from next April instead of the planned £9,205, and the planned 3 pence per litre fuel duty hike in January has been abolished – good news for those of us driving regularly!

The Chancellor confirmed his rather dubious shares-for-rights scheme will go ahead, and also announced a further 1% reduction in the Main Rate of Corporation Tax (that’s the one the vast majority of freelancers are not on) from April 2014.

One ray of light in the announcement was a ten-fold increase in capital allowances from £25,000 to £250,000 – good news for those with excess cash sloshing around they wish to invest in their business!

We’re still digesting the new rules set out in the Autumn Statement, and will have more coverage coming shortly!

Photo by altogetherfool

  • Rosie Slosek @1ManBandAccts

    That increase in capital items allowance is also a good way of taking a sole trader business down into a lower tax bracket, so keep an eye on your numbers before the tax year ends so you can take advantage if necessary.

  • Danny Quinn

    Inspiring and optimistic. Thank you very much

  • Gavin Eades

    The company i work for is instructing the driver’s not to use other work but to put the vehicle mode into break, (while waiting to unload/load, not using POA as unsure of how long the waiting period is going to be) the reason they telling the driver’s to use this, is to extend the working time. I have said break periods need to be of a certain length, 30 minutes then 15 or the full 45 minutes, by putting the mode into break when completing other work this will surely flag up infringements (insufficient break) when the drivers card is downloaded if the mode is constantly on break when not driving? When i questioned this, the answer i received “a leading tachograph analyst has told them this is OK to do?”.