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2013 Autumn Statement: Key measures for business

05 Dec 2013

Chancellor George Osborne’s 2013 Autumn Statement contained a number of measures aimed at helping businesses. The measures include a new cap on future increases in business rates, an extension of the Small Business Rate Relief scheme for another year, and help for smaller high street businesses.

The Chancellor announced that business rates increases will be capped at 2%, rather than next year’s expected increase of 3.2%, cutting the tax bill for business owners by around £900m.

Commenting on the news, John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that action on business rates was the FSB’s top priority and ‘extending the doubling of small business rates relief will be welcomed by many’.

The Chancellor also announced that businesses with properties worth up to £50,000 will receive a discount in their business rates, resulting in a saving of £1,000 per business.

Other measures announced include the abolishment of employer national insurance contributions for employees under the age of 21, and new tax reliefs for the shale gas and creative industries.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said that although the measures implemented in the Autumn Statement were positive for business, they were ‘not strong enough to boost companies’ cash flow and investment’, and that the Chancellor ‘should have been bolder, freezing business rates entirely’.