Significant number of UK workers ‘considering setting up a side business’

Significant number of UK workers ‘considering setting up a side business’

Research carried out by domain registrar GoDaddy has suggested that a significant number of UK workers are considering setting up a business in addition to working their usual day job.

Nearly a fifth of those surveyed have contemplated starting up a business on the side, GoDaddy revealed.

The survey found that ‘side businesses’ help individuals to top up their income, with some entrepreneurs reportedly earning between £500 and £5,000 on top of the salary from their day job.

48% of those who start up a side business do so to make money from a passion or a hobby, the research revealed.

However, some experts have warned that many have set up side businesses in order to make ends meet. Annie Quick, Subject Lead in Inequality and Wellbeing at think tank the New Economics Foundation, commented: ‘For many more people, this is something they’re being forced to do.

‘We’ve had a decade now of stagnating wages, benefit cuts and increasing prices, so many people are finding that a full-time job is no longer enough to put food on the table and are often having to turn to often poorly paid, insecure employment to top up their income.’

‘Progressive’ property tax regime for Wales set to be implemented

‘Progressive’ property tax regime for Wales set to be implemented

From April 2018, individuals seeking to buy residential property in Wales will pay little or no tax on the purchase, under plans announced in the Welsh Draft Budget 2018-19.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will be replaced in Wales by a new Land Transaction Tax (LTT) on 1 April 2018.

Under the new LTT rules, the Welsh starting threshold for property tax will be the highest in the UK.

For properties priced between £0 and £150,000, a main residential rate of 0% will apply. Homes priced between £150,000 and £250,000 will attract a residential rate of 2.5%.

Image result for tax cutsMeanwhile, residential properties priced between £250,000 and £400,000 will be subject to a main rate of 5%.

The rates can be viewed in full here.

Commenting on the new rates, the Finance Secretary for Wales, Mark Drakeford, stated: ‘From April, Wales will introduce the first Welsh taxes in almost 800 years, supporting first-time buyers and boosting business.

‘The devolution of tax powers provides us with the opportunity to reshape and make changes to improve existing taxes to better meet Wales’ needs and priorities.

‘These new progressive rates and bands for LTT . . . will make a real difference to people’s lives; help change behaviours and deliver improvements to communities across Wales.’

Significant number of young people ‘concerned about their finances’, study suggests

Significant number of young people ‘concerned about their finances’, study suggests

Research carried out by Sky has revealed that a significant number of young people are concerned about the state of their finances.

65% of those aged between 18 and 34 are concerned about how they would manage financially if and when interest rates rise.

The level of anxiety amongst individuals in this age bracket is significantly higher than that of any other age group, the research suggested.

The Bank of England (BoE) recently indicated that interest rates could rise ‘as soon as November’. Commenting on the issue, Mark Carney, Governor of the BoE, recently said: ‘If the economy continues on the track that it’s been on, . . . in the relatively near term we can expect that interest rates will increase.’

The base interest rate currently stands at 0.25%.

Meanwhile, separate research carried out by debt charity StepChange revealed that many young people are seeking debt advice. Two thirds of individuals accessing support are under the age of 40, the charity found.

UK’s rate of inflation ‘highest amongst leading economies’, data suggests

UK’s rate of inflation ‘highest amongst leading economies’, data suggests

Figures published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have suggested that the UK has the ‘highest rate’ of inflation amongst top economies around the world.

INFLATIONRising food and fuel costs have helped to increase prices in the UK, with inflation rising at a faster rate than inflation in other G7 countries, including the US, Germany, France and Japan.


The latest figures from the OECD show that the UK’s rate of inflation reached 2.9% in August, up from 2.6% in July. Experts in the UK have warned that inflation is outpacing wage growth.


Of the 35 developed OECD nations analysed, the UK’s inflation rate is only marginally lower than the rates of inflation in Turkey, Mexico, Latvia and Estonia.

Since the Brexit vote, sterling has steadily depreciated, helping to increase the costs of imports, energy and services.

Meanwhile, inflation across all OECD nations remained stable at 1.8%.

Small Business Commissioner appointed by government

Small Business Commissioner appointed by government

The government has appointed the first Small Business Commissioner, who will seek to ‘empower small businesses in the UK’ and help to drive a change in payment practices.

GovernmentPaul Uppal, the new Commissioner, will be tasked with helping to resolve payment disputes between small businesses and larger companies.

Mr Uppal will also assist small firms in accessing dispute resolution services and support.

Commenting on the appointment, Business Secretary, Greg Clark, said: ‘Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing jobs and opportunities across the country. I am delighted to announce Paul Uppal as the first Small Business Commissioner.

‘His extensive experience as a small business owner makes him perfectly suited to champion the interests of small businesses and bring about a change in culture that will create a level playing field for everyone.’

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the appointment, and also called for the new Commissioner to take urgent action in order to help resolve supply chain disputes.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘The hard work now begins to make a real difference and address the billions of pounds owed to small businesses by large companies. If successful, this could see the beginning of the end for Britain’s poor payment culture.’

The office of the Small Business Commissioner is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

IoD outlines Autumn Budget proposals

IoD outlines Autumn Budget proposals

In its Budget submission, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has outlined a range of proposals on the subjects of fiscal policy, business investment and infrastructure.

555The IoD has urged the government to ensure that Brexit is not used as ‘an excuse for delaying much-needed and overdue broad-based reform’ of the UK tax system during the Autumn Budget.

Corporation tax should be ‘kept low’ in order to ensure that the UK remains competitive, and to encourage business growth, the business group stated.

Meanwhile, it also called for an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) from its current level of £200,000 per annum to £1 million per annum. This, it believes, will help to boost investment, productivity and growth amongst UK firms.

The IoD called on the government to place a ‘strong emphasis’ on incentivising investment during the Budget, in order to help improve confidence levels amongst UK businesses. A survey recently published by the Institute revealed that business confidence has been falling since the beginning of 2017.

Commenting on the issue, Stephen Martin, Director General of the IoD, said: ‘We know the Chancellor has a difficult balancing act to perform, but amongst all of the loud voices crying out for more help, we urge him not to ignore the businesses feeling hesitant about their investment decisions.

‘Businesses are not asking for a big splurge, but for specific and targeted reliefs to encourage firms and individuals to invest.’

In its Budget submission, the Institute also urged the government to be ‘ambitious’ with its future infrastructure plans, and has called for the implementation of new technologies to be considered.

The Chancellor will deliver the Autumn Budget on Wednesday 22 November. Make sure you keep an eye on our website for coverage of the key announcements.

UK businesses ‘in the dark’ about how to make best use of Apprenticeship Levy

A survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has suggested that UK businesses are ‘in the dark’ over how to make best use of the Apprenticeship Levy.

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced on 6 April 2017, and has changed the way in which apprenticeships are funded: larger employers are required to invest a percentage of their annual pay bill in apprenticeships. The Levy is 0.5% of the pay bill, but there is an annual allowance of £15,000. It is reported and paid using the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) process.

The BCC surveyed over 1,400 businesses and found that 23% of firms currently paying the Levy have no understanding of the system.

Meanwhile, 56% of businesses do not expect to recover any or only a portion of their payment, whilst 36% expect to recover all or more of their payment.

The BCC stated that businesses are ‘uncertain about how to use the funds to find and train the skills they need’. It has called for ‘clearer guidance and support’ for businesses seeking to make use of the Levy.

Commenting on the issue, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills at the BCC, said: ‘For many businesses who pay the Apprenticeship Levy, it can feel like an additional employment tax, much of which they are unable to recover, and one that is deflecting training budgets away from other important training needs.

‘Firms need greater flexibility on how they can use their Levy monies and a system that is fully operational as quickly as possible, is simple and efficient, and that enables them to access good quality training.’