The government has published the Spending Review, delivering on key commitments to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, support the jobs and industries of the future and invest in a high-wage, high-skill economy.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will be at the forefront of delivering these plans, overseeing pay rises for millions working families, creating thousands of jobs and securing the UK’s status as a global science superpower.
The Budget complements the Net Zero Strategy which BEIS published last week and delivers the investment and support which UK firms need to plan for the future.
Business and workers
The Spending Review includes measures intended to support British workers and businesses looking to invest and grow. These include:
- a National Living Wage increase up to £9.50 an hour to be introduced from April 2022, giving £1,000 pay rise to two million of the lowest paid workers across the UK. The change will make the new National Living Wage rate the highest ever, as significant progress is made towards ending low pay
- the extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme by 6 months – with the scheme having already supported the recovery of UK businesses with over £1 billion of government-backed loans since April
- £1.6 billion of finance for new and growing businesses, to be delivered via the government’s British Business Bank over the next 3 years. This includes £312 million for 33,000 new Start-Up Loans to business owners across the UK and £307 million for businesses in the North, Midlands and South West through expanding the Regional Funds programme. For the first time, this programme will also launch funds in Scotland and Wales and continue to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to maintain the existing fund. The government will also provide £52.5 million for the Regional Angels Programme
- business rates exemption for green property improvements, including solar panels and heat pumps, to help businesses invest to make buildings more energy efficient
- a 50% business rates discount for the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors capped at a maximum of £110,000. This also applies to high street personal care businesses like hairdressers
- further support for the hospitality sector, especially community pubs, with a simplified alcohol duty that cuts tax for less strong alcoholic drinks such as beers, fruit ciders and weaker wines, a lower rate of duty for draught beer or cider which independent and community pubs depend on for their revenue, and the cancellation of the planned increase in duty for whisky, beer, wine and cider
- support for small producers of alcoholic drinks, with the introduction of a new small producer relief, building on the success of Small Brewers Relief, for cidermakers and other producers of lower ABV drinks including many English winemakers. The government will also end premium tax rates on sparkling wine and substantially reduce duty on rosé, supporting domestic producers of wine as well as retailers of imported prosecco, cava, champagne and other sparkling wines
- the launch of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme in December, providing small businesses with free, impartial online support on how to use digital technology to boost their performance. It will also offer small businesses access to discounts worth up to £5,000 towards the costs of buying approved software. Businesses can now register their interestfor the scheme
- to attract investment and jobs, the government will look to make it easier for enterprising companies to relocate to the UK. BEIS will launch a consultation on creating a re-domiciliation regime to bring the UK into line with peers such as New Zealand and Canada, strengthening our position as a global business hub
- the Spending Review continues the government’s investment in Companies House, as part of a long-term plan to strengthen the register of companies. The funding will help improve the accuracy of the register, increasing the confidence of those who use it to make business decisions, while clamping down on fraud through the misuse of corporate entities
The Spending Review includes commitments which intended to cement our UK’s position in science and innovation.
Investing in new, green industries
The Spending Review supports the landmark Net Zero Strategy unveiled last week, setting out how the UK will kickstart new green industries, create jobs and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
Source | More detail: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/beis-in-the-spending-review-2021