NHBF Business Update Tuesday 02 April 2024

Small businesses receive a boost as the VAT threshold is raised and business rates frozen

The VAT registration threshold raised from £85,000 to £90,000, and £4.3 billion of business rates relief comes into force from 1st April.

Recognising the inflationary pressures facing small businesses, especially with energy bills, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a raft of measures to support them at Spring Budget, sticking to its plan to grow the economy and reward hard work. 

Raising the threshold will take 28,000 businesses out of paying VAT altogether, and ensure the UK has a higher threshold than any EU Member State and is joint highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Read the full statement here

Low Pay Commission publications – The National Minimum Wage in 2024 and beyond

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has today published two reports:

Both these publications come as the National Living Wage (NLW) is set to reach the long-standing target of two-thirds of median hourly earnings, for workers aged 21 and over. Since 2016, the LPC has set the NLW with reference to a target. In this period, the NLW has risen far quicker than before the target was introduced and become one of the highest minimum wages in the world. In this context, the Government asked the LPC to help inform its next steps for NMW policy.

The NHBF is quoted in the LPC’s advice and the hair and beauty sector is mentioned several times in the report:

‘The British Retail Consortium (BRC) called for “a cautious approach to the trajectory for the NLW beyond 2024, taking full account of the current economic environment.” Similarly, the NHBF said “The Government should take a cautious approach to any future rises beyond 2024. We support moving away from a targets-based approach to a wider assessment of the economic and labour market conditions for future NMW/NLW rate setting.”

HM Treasury – Childcare Expansion

Working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours a week of government-funded childcare for 38 weeks a year. From September 2024, working parents of 9-month-olds will be able to access the same offer, and in September 2025 this will increase to 30 hours. This investment is positive for parents and businesses. 

The Government has a range of promotional assets available online, including an eligibility calculatorguidance and resources. Families can visit Childcare Choices to see what support they might be eligible for now and in the future.

Royal Mail price increases from 2 April

From 2nd April, the cost of many Royal Mail products and services is set to increase. The price of first-class stamps will go up by 10p to £1.35, and the cost of second-class, international, and tracked deliveries will also increase. The reason behind these changes is Ofcom’s proposal in January to cut Royal Mail services, which the FSB argues will create widespread disruption to small businesses and the UK economy. For more information and the full list of service cost changes, visit the Royal Mail website.

Article via NHBF. Read full article at NHBF Business Update Tuesday 02 April 2024