Cash boost for apprenticeships launched
- Businesses can apply to claim £3000 for each new apprentice hired as a new employee
- To be eligible, employees must be hired between April 1 and September 30, 2021
Employers of all sizes in England can now apply for extra funding to help them take on new apprentices.
The boost to the apprenticeship incentive scheme was confirmed by the Chancellor in the Budget in March, and will be available to claim from today (1 June).
Businesses can apply to claim £3000 for each new apprentice hired as a new employee from April 1 until September 30.
The cash incentive is designed to help more employers invest in the skilled workforce they need for the future, as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs.
Employers can choose how to spend the cash, for example, covering uniform or travel costs for the apprentice.
Employers can also apply for a £1000 cash boost to help them deliver traineeships for up to 10 learners per region, in each of the 9 regions of England.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“Young people have been hit especially hard by the crisis – which is why our Plan for Jobs launched last year is focused on helping them get the skills they need to get the jobs they want.
“By boosting the cash incentives for our apprenticeship scheme we’re improving opportunities for young people to stay in and find work – this could not be more important in our economy’s recovery.”
Previously, businesses in England were given £2,000 for every new apprentice they took on under the age of 25 and £1,500 for those over 25. The new system will pay companies £3,000 for every apprentice regardless of age.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme fifth grant
- The grant is taxable and will be paid out in a single instalment
- Guidance for claiming the grant will be available by the end of June 2021
A fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021 will be open to claims from late July 2021.
The grant is taxable and will be paid out in a single instalment.
Guidance for claiming the grant will be available by the end of June 2021.
How the fifth grant is different
The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.
HMRC will provide more information and support by the end of June 2021 to help you work out how your turnover was affected.
How much you’ll get
|Turnover reduction||How much you’ll get||Maximum grant|
|30% or more||80% of 3 months’ average trading profits||£7,500|
|Less than 30%||30% of 3 months’ average trading profits||£2,850|
When you can claim
The online claims service for the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021.
If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you in mid-July 2021 to give you a date that you can make your claim from.
‘Pension Dashboard’ plans could take until 2025
- The Dashboards will allow savers to view all their various pension pots in one place
- This includes the government pension, workplace pensions and any private pensions.
Savers hoping to see all their retirement pots in one place online might need to wait until at least 2025 for Pensions Dashboards to be fully formed.
Pensions Dashboards will allow savers to view all their various pension pots in one place – including the government pension, workplace pensions and any private pensions. Currently savers have to look at these pots separately, which can make it difficult to keep track.
The government’s objective was originally for the service to be available by 2019, with the target date later moving to 2023.
The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP), a body established to advise government on the reforms, has published a timetable for pension schemes to connect to dashboards. It says that while the first wave of schemes would connect to dashboards in Spring 2023, this process could take two years under the Pensions Dashboard Programme plans.
There is still not yet a proposed start date for ‘onboarding’ the smallest pension schemes.
Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Pensions Dashboards have the potential to make life a whole lot easier for millions of people who build multiple retirement pots over the course of their working lives.
“Being able to see all of your retirement pots in one place online could be a game changer. Most obviously it should save people the hassle of digging through old statements – if they have them at all – when they want to consolidate their old schemes.
“It should also make the scourge of lost pension pots a thing of the past, and over the longer-term could become a tool to boost retirement engagement and understanding. However, before that great pensions oak tree can emerge the government and the pensions industry needs to get an acorn in the ground.
“There is little doubt the government was wildly optimistic when it suggested Dashboards could be up-and-running in 2019. This is a huge project involving vast amounts of data and with people’s life savings at stake, so the most important thing is ensuring that data is safe and the information people eventually see on dashboards is reliable.
“While the pace of the outlined timetable is enough to make a snail blush and will frustrate many – not least government ministers – it is infinitely better than headlines of another IT disaster. That said, we hope the government and the FCA will hold the feet of the laggards to the fire to ensure dashboards become a reality as soon as possible.”
New tariff suspension scheme tailored to UK economy
- Firms will be able to apply for duties on goods they import to be temporarily reduced or withdrawn
- The scheme will allocate suspensions on any import that satisfies the criteria at GOV.UK
UK firms will be given further help to become more globally competitive in a new scheme to suspend tariffs on certain imports.
It will allow companies that use imports to ask for duties on them to be partially or wholly withdrawn for a set period, lowering production costs.
During the UK’s membership of the EU, firms had to submit applications to the bloc to request suspensions, which then had to be assessed by all member states.
From this month, firms based in the UK or Crown Dependencies will be able to apply for duties on goods they import to be temporarily reduced or withdrawn. Once a suspension has been introduced, all UK importers will be able to benefit from the reduced rate.
The new scheme will allocate suspensions based on the needs of firms in the UK and the wider economy, on any import that satisfies the selection criteria set out on GOV.UK.
In recognition of the challenges surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, existing duty suspensions that the government rolled over from the EU will be extended beyond December 31, 2021 to ensure business certainty.
Greg Hands, Minister for Trade Policy, said:
“Now that we have left the EU we can use suspensions to give UK firms the maximum possible benefit. This suspension scheme will be accessible to importers across the country, and those that are granted will benefit entire sectors.
“They will lower costs and help our superb producers pack even more of a punch when they compete on the global stage.”
Businesses will be able to apply from June 1 and the suspensions are expected to apply from early 2022. The application form can be found here.
Weekly HMRC, Gov’t and tax updates
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims for 16 to 99 employees
A new template released by HMRC allows employers to upload details of claims of 16 to 99 employees if claiming after May 27, 2021.
Claims for employees of less than 16 will have to be done through the existing manual method.
You’ll need to upload a file containing the following information for each employee:
- Full name
- National Insurance number (or payroll reference number if you do not have this)
- Payroll reference number (sometimes called a pay identify or staff number)
- Furlough start and end date (using the format DD/MM/YYYY)
- Full amount claimed (pounds and pence)
- Normal hours (using decimals, for example 7.5)
- Actual hours worked (using decimals)
- Furloughed hours (using decimals)
- If they have returned from statutory leave and you then put them on furlough
Trusts and Estates with small amounts of savings income
Trustees or personal representatives where a trust or estate’s only source of income is savings interest and the tax liability is below £100, have not needed to submit returns or make payments under informal arrangement set up in 2016.
The interim agreement was extended previously and HMRC has confirmed that the arrangement will remain in place for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 tax years.
UK manufacturing growth at 30-year high
UK manufacturing is growing at its fastest rate for almost 30 years as the easing of lockdown unleashes pent-up demand, according to a survey.
The IHS Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached a high last month of 65.6, up from 60.9 in April.
Any reading above 50 indicates growth, and April’s figure was the highest since the survey began in 1992.
However, the survey indicated that many suppliers are struggling to keep up with the increased demand, which is pushing up the average delivery times to manufacturers.
Businesses particularly highlighted shortages of electronics, plastics and metals, and there were also delays in transport.
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