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A 500-word Spring Budget summary for entrepreneurs and SME business owners

The chancellor claimed to be “listening to the voice of business” in his speech, so here is a Spring Budget summary for SMEs and entrepreneurs in 500 words.
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It takes a while to get through the full 68-page document, so save yourself some time by catching up on all the salient business developments in our Spring Budget summary.

Changes to NICs for self-employed

With an increasing number of SMEs boosting the workforce through engaging with self-employed professionals, the chancellor announced that the main rate of Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs) will rise from nine to ten per cent in April 2018 and 11 per cent in April 2019. The government feels the differences previously seen between the employed and self-employed in terms of state pensions and welfare benefits have been skewed by the new state pension.

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Tax avoidance push worth £820m

Policy is being put in place to stop companies from converting capital losses into trading losses – as well as to tackle abuse of foreign pension scheme. Further action is being taken through introducing UK VAT on roaming telecoms services outside the EU in line with international standard practice.

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Reduction to tax-free dividend

A new tax free dividend policy will be implemented from April 2018, reducing it from £5,000 to £2,000. In stating that he dividend allowance has increased the tax advantage of incorporation, the chancellor expects to free up nearly £1bn a year for public services through the move by 2021-22.

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Business rate relief

In light of recent worries and complaints about the upcoming re-evaluation of business rates, the chancellor announced three measures. The first is a pledge that any business coming out of Small Business Rate relief will benefit from an additional cap. The second involves a £1,000 discount in business rate bills in 2017 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,00. Finally, local authorities will have access to a £300m fund to deliver “discretionary relief” to specific cases.

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National Living Wage and Personal Allowance update

Not a great deal to report on here, except a confirmation that the National Living Wage will rise, as expected, to £7.50 in April. Additionally, the Personal Allowance will rise to £11,500, and the higher rate threshold to £45,000. The government has predicted 29m people will be better off, with a typical basic rate taxpayer paying £1,000 less than in 2010.”

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£270m for new development of new technologies

The chancellor announced a £270m fund for disruptive technologies with the power to “transform the UK economy”. Included in this are technologies such as biotech, robotic systems and driverless cars. The £270m investment between 2017-2018 and supported by an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

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£200m for fibre broadband

The final part of our Spring Budget summary is news the government is freeing up £200m for local projects to leverage private sector investment in full-fibre broadband networks. It will reportedly bring together local public sector customers as well as offering full-fibre broadband vouchers for businesses.

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If you’re still after more detail after our Spring Budget summary, check out our dedicated hub and a full transcript of the speech.

Also, in light of the continued push to encourage better broadband connection, tell us about your situation in the survey below.

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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