Will your business be affected by Sunak’s Summer Statement?

7th July 2020

On Wednesday Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will be delivering a Summer Statement. Labelled by some as a ‘mini Budget’, we are expecting some major announcements that will reveal the Government’s economic strategy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as things that impact on the wider business industry across the country, there may also be elements that pertain to your business specifically and that you may have to take action on. Here are some of the topics we may see covered in the Statement:

Furlough penalties

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was put into place to protect jobs and to prevent companies from having to make redundancies to balance out the economic hardship that the pandemic has presented. Where employers have made redundancies whilst taking advantage of the furlough scheme, they may be told to return the money.

Tweak to business rates

We may hear Sunak “tweak the system of business rates…by levying taxes on companies based on the value of the buildings from which they operate”. Business rate “holidays” are already being granted to the retail, leisure and hospitality industry, and there are calls from other industry groups for these to be extended.

Changes to pensions tax relief

A review of pensions tax relief is frequently speculated, but remains largely unaddressed. However, in light of the enormous amount of spending that has been warranted of late to support schemes such as furlough and the recently announced “£1.5billion lifeline” for the Arts, some believe that it is time that pensions tax relief is reformed to claw back some of the money spent.

The Statement is set to take place around lunchtime on Wednesday 8th July. We will be back then to provide a summary of the changes that will be most relevant for businesses and that may have an impact on payroll.