The automatic Escalator Tax (alcohol and cigarettes) which was to be applied this month (by at least 2% over inflation until 2014) was removed for beer in the recent budget.  CAMRA had been vocal in pointing out that beer duty has risen 42% since 2008, the beer industry had cited the tax as reason for pubs going out of business and The Chancellor noted 10,000 pubs have closed in the last decade.  Although duty for beer in general hasn’t been cut, the escalator stoppage and a duty cut of 1p has been seen as going some way to support the beer and pub industry. Also a planned 3p rise in fuel duty scheduled for September has been scrapped altogether.

Real-time PAYE reporting rolled out this month, seen as an HMRC  concession, in that those employing less than 50 people are able to take longer with the increased frequency of PAYE filings until 5 October 2013. During the extended time it’s anticipated that any circumstantial problems for small businesses will be identified.

Research carried out by, in part, the Institute for Family Business with UCG (IFB) has revealed that family business owners don’t feel traditional technical qualifications alone are sufficient for a competent business advisor, and citing the ability to effectively deal with various personalities in a complex family situation as being equally important. Family-owned business ‘face specific challenges that are different from those faced by private individuals, limited companies or PLCs’…… ‘Being highly proficient or highly qualified … is only the baseline starting point.’

Following through the Financial Services Act, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) take over from the FSA, at ‘Legal Cutover’ 1 April (note this is not a joke).  Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill, the new regulatory framework, was sent to Public Bill Committee for scrutiny in March.

Lonely Planet, BBC’s travel guide business bought in 2007 and 2011 (no taxpayers’ money was used), has been sold on to a US media firm and, with a loss of almost £80m, the BBC Trust has ordered a review of ‘lessons learned’ with the Vice Chair saying “Although this did not prove to be a good commercial investment, Worldwide is a very successful business”.

……Wonder how many small businesses would get away with that comment?

Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF 2013