Hammond

UK chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement today, outlining a series of measures, which will inevitably impact technology businesses nationwide.

Here’s a roundup of the key points that are most relevant to tech companies in the UK.

Business rates

During his speech, Hammond said the next business rates revaluation would be brought forward.

The chancellor had previously said, in last year’s Autumn Budget, that business rates revaluations would take place every three years, as opposed to every five years, following the next revaluation.

Hammond said today that the next revaluation, currently set to take place in 2022, would now take place in 2021.

Digital connectivity

The Autumn Budget launched a £190m Challenge Fund in a bid to help roll out full-fibre to local areas – seeking to provide fast, reliable broadband to more homes and businesses.

Today’s Spring Budget saw the allocation of the first wave of funding, providing more than £95m for 13 different areas across the UK.

Tech and fair tax

Hammond said digital businesses were able to create value in a unique way, relying on the participation and engagement of their users, but noted this was not always reflected in the way in which multinational businesses such as Google or Amazon paid tax on their profits.

With this in mind, the government has set out its thinking on how the tax system can change to give a fair result for digital businesses.

Cash and the economy

The government has recognised the shift from cash towards digital payments and is now seeking views on what more it can do to:

  • support people and businesses who use digital payments
  • ensure that those who need to are able to pay with cash
  • prevent the use of cash to evade tax and launder money

Skills

In a bid to support upskilling and retraining, the government is seeking views on extending the current tax relief to support self-employed people and employees when they fund their own training.