Spring Statement: Key Headlines

AvantiGas has a large and growing number of business customers from a wide range of sectors, including hospitality, manufacturing, and industry. With many of them in rural communities, facing additional challenges to development and growth, we’ve reviewed the spring statement to identify key elements that may have a particular impact.

Late Payers

We are encouraged that the government has recognised that many small businesses face significant cashflow issues caused by late payers. A call for evidence will seek information to assess the impact this has on small businesses. As many of our rural customers already face higher overheads, we welcome any action that may reduce their financial strain so they can continue to operate successfully in rural communities.

Manufacturing

Though the UK manufacturing sector is continuing to enjoy year on year growth, we know that many of our customers are still unsettled by the lack of certainty surrounding the Brexit process. Indeed, though we are still experiencing the longest period of manufacturing industry growth, this is at a slower rate than our EU counterparts.

Housing crisis

The Government is providing £44bn to build 300,000 homes a year until the mid-2020s, and today has also announced £1.67bn for affordable homes in London. We’ll be asking that the Government considers the housing crisis in rural areas, where young professionals are often priced out of their home towns due to a lack of affordable housing, which ultimately damages rural economies by driving labour out of these areas.

Small Business VAT Review

The Government have announced they will review the VAT registration threshold to allow businesses to grow and be productive. This call for evidence should consider rural businesses in particular, who are often subject to higher overhead costs due to their locations and size. In addition to this, the consultation on alternative methods of gathering VAT payments will reduce the administrative burden on small businesses, boosting productivity and profitability in rural economies.

Upskilling the nation

The Chancellor has unveiled plans for upskilling British citizens to improve productivity and grow the UK economy, by announcing:  

  • £500m set aside for T-levels with £50m to help employers roll out placements for T-level students from next month
  • £80m to support small businesses engaging apprenticeships
  • a consultation on extending the current tax relief system to support employees and the self-employed who undertake self-funded further training.   

For rural businesses, who struggle to attract talent due to their location this lifeline ensures that they can keep their workforce up-to-date with the required skills needed to remain competitive and to ensure that they have a future skilled workforce via the apprenticeship programme.

Click here to view the full spring budget transcript. 

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