Following this morning’s shock announcement by the Bank of England to lower the UK’s interest rates form 0.75% to 0.25% to stimulate the economy and help to combat the effects of the Coronavirus, Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledges further support to business in the 2020 budget. He announced that the Government will cover the statutory sick pay costs of all staff forced to self-isolate for 14 days in companies with less than 250 employees – a welcome relief for companies contemplating the likely cost of Coronavirus. And small business will be able to apply for business interruption loans of up to £1.2m to help them through the worst of this global crisis.
Business got a further boost with spending on infrastructure projects designed to improve technology and the road and rail network. Investment in Research and Development projects will hit £22bn this year.
£5bn for gigabit-capable broadband into UK’s hardest to reach zones Businesses who wish to benefit from modern technologies, such as Cloud Services, Cyber Security Systems, Remote Backup and Disaster Recovery, fast and reliable connectivity is paramount.
The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) has already helped thousands of businesses gain the bandwidth and reliability required to make use of new technology today.
And in a bid to hit the UK government’s ambitious target of the UK being carbon-neutral by 2050, Rishi Sunak announced a tax on manufacturers and importers using packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic. One CPiO manufacturing customer commented, “This is not unreasonable given that so many companies have made huge strides in reducing their single-use plastic wastage. This will help to focus the minds of those organisations that are not taking responsibility for their part in hitting this carbon-neutral objective in our industry.”
Other Budget 2020 highlights:
Fuel duty is frozen for the year
UK growth predictions see 1.4% in 2020 rising to 1.6% in 2021
NI threshold increases from £8652 to £9500
Business rates will be abolished for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value below £51,000