Yesterday saw Chancellor George Osborne at the despatch box delivering the final budget before the general election in May. So what did he offer those with their own small businesses?
Key announcements included the scrapping of the annual tax return and class 2 national insurance contributions for the self-employed, a welcome reduction in form filling and red-tape that many businesses will appreciate. He also repeated his commitment to a “far-reaching” and “radical” review of the business rates system and confirmed more help to include the extension of the small business rates relief for another year and transitional rate relief to support small business facing the ending of transitional rate relief.
It is a good time to go digital – the budget offers £40m for the ‘internet of things’, which allows devices to be controlled by a smartphone or tablet. The investment will go into business incubators, which are dedicated spaces for start-ups and into research hubs that will develop the necessary technology. There will also be a £600m investment in wireless broadband and £7.4m to provide wi-fi access for libraries in England.
There will also be a rise in the minimum wage to £6.70 this autumn.
To see the key points in yesterday’s budgets see this At a glance guide.