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The 2015 Autumn Statement: some key measures for Businesses

1 Mar 2016

2 minute read

When Chancellor George Osborne delivered his combined Autumn Statement and Spending Review to the House of Commons, it contained a number of surprises, not least of which was the announcement of a U-turn on the planned changes to the taper and threshold rates for tax credits, which will now remain unchanged. The Chancellor also unveiled key announcements of significance to businesses, some of which are outlined below.

Business rates

The Government will extend the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief for a further year from 1 April 2016. The Chancellor also confirmed that the Government’s review of business rates is ongoing and will be reported at Budget 2016. In addition, the Government will legislate to allow local government to keep the rates they collect from business, give councils the power to cut business rates to boost growth, and grant elected city-wide mayors the power to levy a business rates premium for certain local infrastructure projects.

Apprenticeship levy

The new apprenticeship levy, effective from April 2017, will be set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s wage bill and will be paid through PAYE. Each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. This means that the levy will only be paid on any wage bill in excess of £3 million.

Diesel company cars

The three percentage point differential between diesel cars and petrol cars was set to be removed in April 2016. However, it will now be retained until April 2021, when EU-wide testing procedures will ensure new diesel cars meet air quality standards, even under strict ‘real world’ driving conditions.

Employment intermediaries

The Government will legislate to restrict tax relief for travel and subsistence expenses for workers engaged through an employment intermediary, such as an umbrella or personal service company. Following consultation, from April 2016 relief will be restricted for individuals working through personal service companies where the intermediaries legislation applies.

For more information on how the measures could affect your business, please contact us on 01865 292200 or email

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