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Budget 2016: “Budget for small business”

March 17, 2016 featured image

It was good news for small businesses and the self-employed in George Osbourne’s budget statement yesterday.  The statement was described as a “Budget for small business”, including tax reforms which were welcomed by small business owners.  Here’s a roundup of the policies which might affect you and your business.

Business boost


Small business rate relief increase from £6,000 to £15,000, resulting in an estimated 600,000 small businesses being exempt from paying local business rates.

Class 2 National Insurance contributions abolished, giving £130 tax cut to self-employed workers from 2018.

Corporation tax cut to from 20% to 17% by 2020.

New exemption allowing £1,000 tax free for those selling products or services online – for example eBay or AirBnB.

Motoring and travel


Good news for motorists – fuel duty frozen for sixth year in a row.

Severn Bridge Toll reduced by half – an added bonus for our Welsh readers!

HS3, the high-speed rail line across the Pennines, and Crossrail 2, running north to south through London, given the go-ahead.

Earnings and Savings


Tax free personal allowance was raised to £11,500.

New Lifetime ISA will replace Help to Buy ISA from April 2017 for under 40s.  The government will give £1 for every £4 saved up to a maximum of £4,000 meaning a slightly better return for those saving to buy.  The regular ISA limit will be raised to £20,000.

Beer duty


If you like to unwind with a pint on a Friday afternoon, you’ll be pleased to hear duty on beers, spirits and majority ciders has been frozen!

Flood defences

A £700 million boost for flooding will be generated from a 0.5% increased to insurance premium tax, paid on home, car and holiday insurance.



The Carbon Reduction Commitment will be abolished, but the Chancellor promised to make £730 million available to back offshore wind and other less established renewables.



Disappointingly, house building didn’t get much of a look-in.  It was described as a ‘missed opportunity in the government’s race against time to meet its own housing targets’ by The Federation of Master Builders.

Plans were announced to help local authorities who want to build new garden towns, garden villages and market towns.

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