Business and the economy
According to the chancellor, things are looking brighter for the UK economy, with investment in UK businesses 39.1% higher than it was in 2010. Many in the industry will be pleased to hear the economy grow by 3% in 2014, with a further 2.4% growth forecast for 2015.
Corporation tax will be down to 18% by 2020, which could be good news for jobs and economic growth.
As expected, there will be no further cuts in beer duty, which have been cut by a penny a pint for the past three budgets running.
Osborne came out in strong support of apprenticeships, promising a ‘radical and frankly long overdue approach’ and outlined plans to make sure ‘the skills of the young are no worse than the old.’ A new apprenticeship levy will apply to large firms, with firms offering apprenticeships able to ‘get back more than they put in.’ The pub industry has been among the industry’s leading the charge when it comes to apprenticeships, and the government hopes to create 3 million more.
As predicted, councils will have the option to allow shops to trade for longer on Sundays. High street pubs could benefit from the increased hours by taking advantage of the increased numbers of shoppers looking for restorative meal or pint.
A new compulsory national living wage will start next April at £7.20 per house, rising to £9 by 2020. The new wage will be compulsory for those aged over 25.