George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his second budget of the year today but only his first as Chancellor in a majority Conservative government, despite holding the job since 2010.
There’s plenty to slice and dice and when it comes to a budget there’s a lot to digest. But a few aspects spring to mind as being important to ecommerce SMEs right away.
Firstly, Osborne pledged not to increase VAT and the main levels of income tax for the duration of this parliament. Increasing personal allowances in the coming years will be attractive to many self-employed people.
He also pledged to reduce corporation tax to 19% in 2017. That’s unlikely to be a benefit to many small businesses but larger corporations will like it.
But probably the issue of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is what will affect the most SMEs. From next April, there will be a top up to the NMW called the National Living Wage (NLW). Basically that 50p an hour top up will take the NMW from £6:70 to £7:20 per hour for the over 25s. (The adult rate is currently £6:50 and will rise by 20p in October.)
And the aspiration of the Chancellor is to peg the level of the NLW to 60% of median earnings by 2020. That would mean a rate of over £9. The NLW will be raised over time to hit that figure in the next 5 years.
If you employ people in your operations, what implications does a raised minimum wage have for you?