Budget 2013: Osborne looks to support SMEs

Nia Williams

March 20, 2013

The Chancellor said: “Britain will have a 20% rate of corporation tax – the lowest business tax of any major economy in the world.”

The government will be funding the cut by increasing the Bank Levy by 0.142%.

The Chancellor also announced a £3bn boost to infrastructure per year from 2015-2016.

As part of the new Budget the government has committed £1.6bn for its industrial strategy to provide funding to support strategies in 11 key sectors, including construction.

The government will also provide £30m through a SME Growth Vouchers programme in England as it looks to help SMEs overcome barriers to achieving growth.

Alongside the voucher scheme the government has also provided a limited extension to the capital gains tax holiday as it looks to continue to encourage investors to use the new Seed Investment Scheme which offers 50% income tax relief on investments made into small early-stage companies.

Any investors making capital gains in 2013-14 will receive a 50% capital gains tax relief when they re-invest those gains into seed companies in either 2013-14 or 2014-15.

The budget also offered further relief for SMEs in the form of a new Employment Allowance for next April which will see national insurance contributions paid by companies cut by up to £2,000 a year. Osborne claimed 98% of the benefit of the measure would go to SMEs.

The legislation will come into force next April. Businesses with fewer than 10 staff could see their employer NI contributions cut by 80%, the Treasury said.

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