Autumn Statement 2011

George Osborne presented a not unsurprising statement given the debt laden economy, but within the statement there were some opportunities to be looked at and considered.

The following key points are taken from business zone, posted by John Stokdyk.

Kicking off the speech with a review of revised Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts that showed growth dropping to below 1% in 2011 (0.9%) and 2012 (0.7%), the chancellor looked towards a recovery to 2.7-3% in 2014-16 that would allow the government to achieve its long-term goal of balancing the budget by the end of this Parliament.

•A £21bn credit easing initiative based around a National Loan Guarantee Scheme to lower the cost of bank loans for businesses with turnovers up to £50m. Participating banks will be able to raise up to £20bn over the next two years under the guarantee scheme, provided they pass through this lower cost of funding to smaller businesses in lower interest rates on new loans and overdraft – subject to State Aid approval from Europe, small firms should be able to apply for these funds through participating banks in the normal way.

•A £1bn Business Finance Partnership scheme to raise non-bank finance for small and medium-sized Businesses. The government will begin the process of allocating funds early in 2012.

•Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) will be extended from January 2012 to include businesses with up to £44m annual turnover.

•New Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to be launched in April 2012, offering 50% income tax relief on investments, along with a Capital Gains Tax exemption on gains realised in 2012-13 and then invested through SEIS in the same year. In addition, the government will simplify and refocus the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts.

•Small business rate relief holiday extended for a further six months from 1 October 2012. The Government will also give businesses the opportunity to defer 60 per cent of the increase in their 2012-13 business rate bills as a result of the RPI updating, to be repaid equally across the following two years.

•Extend the R&D tax credit scheme to larger companies in 2013, subject to detailed consultation at Budget time next year. The existing SME R&D incentives will not be affected.

•An extra £1bn for the Regional Growth Fund for England between now and 2014-15, along with a range of infrastructure projects that will be devoted to improving transport and broadband internet services in the regions.

•Make 100% capital allowances available in the Black Country; Humber; Liverpool; North Eastern; Sheffield; and Tees Valley enterprise zones. Further extensions are planned to zones in the North East and a potential new zone around the Battersea power station in London.

•Bring forward employment law and health and safety reforms under consideration part of the Red Tape

•More than £5bn additional spending promised for investments set out in the National Infrastructure Plan, backed by £20bn from UK pension funds.

Are any of the above worthy of Agenda Topic at you next board meeting?

About Michael Carr

Specialising in Strategy, Systems and Organisational Design I've had a varied and rewarding career and been fortunate to work for some superb companies such as Courtaulds, Unipart International, Akzo Nobel and more recently Jaguar Landrover, all luminaries of a solid, disciplined and a conservative, though never lacking in innovation, approach to business management and development. Augmenting my career with studying for my MBA at Warwick in the early 90's has given me a balanced and I believe rich resource set to draw upon in my Consultancy Practice. My Clients have been good to me, tolerating my idiosyncrasies, giving me enough rope to go along the journey that I was taking them and hopefully in return I've been able to repay them by raising the bar and their business performance, giving them the results and achievements they were looking for. I really enjoy my work and love the challenge - isn't that what it's all about?
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