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500-word summary of the Autumn Budget 2017 for SME leaders

4 min read

22 November 2017

Former deputy editor

With the debut Autumn Budget completed, Real Business has offered a quick and easy read of the event for UK SME leaders in just 500 words.

Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget has come to an end and, as always, his revelations have divided opinion. Knowing how much news there is to digest for SME leaders, we’ve got a 500-word summary of the Autumn Budget to help bring you up to speed quickly.

Plans for business rates reform brought forward by two years

During the Autumn Budget, Hammond announced business rates will switch to being increased by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from April 2018. Business rates rise by the Retail Price Index (RPI) at present, which is a different way of measuring inflation that tends to be higher. In addition, business rates revaluations will take place every three years rather than every five, beginning at the next revaluation, which is due in 2022.

£20bn Patient Capital boost to help SMEs achieve scale-up plans

A £20bn Patient Capital investment was revealed during the Autumn Budget. The goal is to present the means for companies growing at pace to get the financial backing necessary to achieve continued scale. The action plan comes as the government has recognised the difficulties that SMEs face during the growth period, following a review conducted by a panel of entrepreneurs.

Ramping up the UK’s digital, maths, science and construction skills

Hoping to bridge the UK’s skills gap, Hammond announced numerous investments for training staff and educating pupils. “Together with the education secretary, the government, the CBI and the TUC will be setting the strategic direction for a National Retraining Scheme,” he declared.

R&D tax credits and investment to propel UK into the future

A key part of the chancellor’s speech was all about embracing change, the future and technological advancements that come with them. As such, he promised that which R&D tax credits would increase by one per cent and there would be additional investment. Not everyone was satisfied though.

Increase to the 2018 National Living Wage and Minimum Wage

Hammond went a long way in ensuring peace of mind in terms of pay, increasing both National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage from April 2018.

Launch of £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund

A new £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund has been announced to “back the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and elected mayors across the UK.” Half of the pot will be shared by the six areas with elected metro mayors, allowing them to deliver local transport priorities. The remainder will be open to competition by other cities in England.

Chancellor goes after “low risk return” investors with SEIS and EIS reform

Launched as investment incentives for those will to back riskier businesses, EIS and SEIS have helped thousands of early-stage businesses attract funding. However, an SEIS and EIS reform was contained within Hammond’s Autumn Statement – aimed at targeting so-called “tax-motivated investments”.

Full transcript of Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget 2017 speech

The full speech given by the chancellor today, just in case the 500-word summary of the Autumn Budget has left you wanting to read the entire thing.