Key points as Jeremy Hunt announces Spring Budget

Key points as Jeremy Hunt announces Spring Budget

Jeremy Hunt announced his Spring Budget today, with many for UK business, those looking to get back into the employment market

Here are the key points as they were announced:

UK economy to contract by 0.2% this year but avoid recession

The chancellor offers more details on the OBR forecasts.

He says the economy will actually contract this year – but will avoid a technical recession (which is two consecutive quarters of decline).

Last November at the Autumn Statement, the OBR said the UK economy would shrink by 1.4% this year and would subsequently return to growth in the following years – so a contraction of 0.2% means things are looking better than they were.

The OBR is an independent forecaster which looks at the government’s tax and spending plans before a Budget or Autumn Statement then predicts how the economy will perform.

Hunt says, due to the government’s leadership, the UK can expect a “slightly lower tax burden” compared to what the OBR predicted in its Autumn forecast.

To cheers from his own benches, and laughs from those opposite, the chancellor adds: “Other parties run out of money but a Conservative government is reducing borrowing and improving public finances.”

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Over half of tech employers now measuring and welcoming neurodiversity  

Over half of tech employers now measuring and welcoming neurodiversity  

Data from the Tech Talent Charter reveals how interest in neurodiversity by tech employers has more than doubled since 2022

It is neurodiversity celebration week this week and findings from the Tech Talent Charter (TTC)’s annual Diversity in Tech report certainly show that the tech sector has got something to applaud.  The report from the UK’s leading non-profit driving diversity in tech, shows that interest in neurodiversity has rocketed this year with over half of companies now taking an interest and measuring neurodivergence in their workforce. This compares with only just over a quarter of companies measuring neurodiversity last year, less than half of this year’s figure.
The TTC analyses diversity reporting from 649 TTC Signatories made up of a wide range of companies powering the UK’s digital economy including Global, HP, Lloyds Banking Group, Nominet, PwC and CWJobs. It is estimated that between 15-20% of the population is neurodiverse, the huge rise in the number of Signatories that are recognising the value that neuroinclusion can bring to their organisation is therefore a major finding.
Most formally diagnosed neurodivergent individuals are diagnosed as children but with recent improvements in research and awareness more adults are now having their symptoms properly
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Almost 1M UK businesses have £1,000 or less in savings

Almost 1M UK businesses have £1,000 or less in savings

New research has revealed the concerning financial tightrope many UK business leaders are walking, as almost one million SMEs have £1,000 or less saved, to help them survive any decline in their revenue.

The study, which surveyed leaders of SME businesses within the UK, sought to uncover the financial landscape owners are currently facing, following a tumultuous three-year period marred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

With almost half of business leaders in the UK stating they can save significantly less now, than they could three years ago prior to the start of the pandemic, it’s no surprise that savings levels are so low. Based on the 5.5 million SMEs currently trading within the UK, the 17% that admit to having £1,000 or less saved, amounts to just shy of one million (935,214) businesses with extremely slim savings.

As experts suggest that businesses should have 3-6 months of operating costs saved in the bank, this paints a particularly worrying picture, especially as the research also found that 1 in 10 businesses with up to 49 employees have no savings whatsoever, putting the jobs of millions at risk.

The Cost of No Confidence

The ongoing cost … Read More

Britishvolt owed £160m at its collapse

Britishvolt owed £160m at its collapse

Britishvolt collapsed owing about £160 million to unsecured creditors who are unlikely to see a significant dividend from the company’s insolvent estate.

The battery start-up fell into administration in January after failing to secure emergency funding.

It had planned to build a gigafactory on the Northumberland coast but struggled to raise equity investment for its research and the development of its sites.

Grant Shapps, the business secretary, also did not allow Britishvolt to draw on £30 million of bridging finance from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund because the company had failed to meet key milestones.

Britishvolt was then sold to Australian firm Recharge Industries, which is run by the New York-based investment fund Scale Facilitation.

Advisers at EY have been managing Britishvolt’s administration and have been collecting claims from creditors. They have said Recharge would need to spend up to £6 billion to develop the gigafactory in Northumberland.

Recharge has picked up Britishvolt’s battery technology and will decide whether to buy the site before the end of this month.

Britishvolt raised equity finance of £167.5 million in a series of fundraising rounds between late 2020 and the summer of 2022.

The company completed its largest fundraising of £84 million in … Read More

Jeremy Hunt announces extension to energy price guarantee

Jeremy Hunt announces extension to energy price guarantee

Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the energy price guarantee that limits the typical annual bill to £2,500 is to be extended.

The scheme had been due to change in April, with the ceiling increasing to £3,000 a year, but the chancellor announced before the financial markets opened this morning that the present level would remain for another three months. Hunt said: “This temporary change will bridge the gap and ease the pressure on families, while also helping to lower inflation too.”

Today he will present his budget statement in parliament, in which he is expected to set out a multibillion-pound three-year package of business tax breaks to encourage investment.

The chancellor has been criticised by Tory MPs for his plan to increase corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent from April. Hunt and Rishi Sunak are adamant that the rise will go ahead. But in an effort to limit the impact of the increase, Hunt will allow businesses to offset 100 per cent of investments in infrastructure and factory and machinery assets against profits for tax purposes. The move will enable companies that invest in the UK to significantly reduce their tax bills.

One government source said … Read More