QUEEN’S SPEECH 2015: KEY BILLS AFFECTING BUSINESSES

On 27 May 2015, the Queen delivered her speech outlining the legislative goals for the next Parliament. The following is a summary of the key bills affecting businesses, but please contact us on 0113 233 8600 if you would like to discuss this further.

ENTERPRISE BILL

This bill was designed to support business growth by cutting regulation, rewarding entrepreneurship, making it easier to resolve business disputes and reforming the business rates system.

The main elements of the bill are as follows: 

The creation of a Small Business Conciliation Service to help resolve business-to-business disputes, especially over late payment.

Introduction of business rates appeals reform, including modifying the Valuation Tribunal powers to consider ratepayer appeals.

Increase the transparency of regulators.

Cut at least £10 billion of regulations over the next 5 years.

 

FULL EMPLOYMENT AND WELFARE BENEFITS BILL

This bill aims to encourage people to work by reforming the welfare system and promoting the growth of apprenticeships.

This includes:

A freeze on the main rates of the majority of working age benefits, tax credits and Child Benefit for 2 years from 2016 to 2017.

Lowering the benefit cap, so that the total amount of benefits a non-working family can receive in a year would be £23,000.

A duty to report annually on progress against meeting the government target of 3 million new apprenticeships.

 

FINANCE BILL

The government will legislate for a 5-year freeze on income tax, national insurance and VAT increases, which ensures:

There are no rises in income tax rates, VAT rates or National Insurance contributions (NICs) rates for individuals, employees and employers.

That the NICs upper earnings limit (the point at which the Employee NICs rate reduces to 2%) is no higher than the income tax higher rate threshold (the point at which income tax increases to 40%).

 

There will be no extension of the scope of VAT.

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