Business News England – 03.01.2022

Welcome to our round up of the latest business news. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

HMRC Employer Bulletin December 2021

The December edition of the Employer Bulletin brings you all the latest HMRC updates and guidance to support employers and payroll agents.

There is important information on:

  • PAYE – there is important information for those who pay employees early for Christmas, and advice on how to prevent and correct payroll errors 
  • UK Transition and the recently agreed UK-Swiss Convention on Social Security coordination which came into force on 1 November 2021 
  • coronavirus (COVID-19) summary of guidance published by HMRC, and declaring grants on tax returns 
  • tax updates and changes to guidance, with information on the tax avoidance campaign

See: Employer Bulletin: December 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

UK average house prices increased by 10.2% over the year to October 2021

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) latest figures show the UK’s average house price increased by 10.2% over the year to October, down from 12.3% in the year to September 2021. The average UK house price was £268,000 in October 2021, which is £24,000 higher than this time last year.

The temporary changes to Stamp Duty, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, and Land Transaction Tax may have allowed sellers to request higher prices as buyers’ overall costs are reduced. As the tax breaks were originally due to conclude at the end of March 2021, it is likely that March’s average house prices were slightly inflated as buyers rushed to ensure their house purchases were scheduled to complete ahead of this deadline.

This effect was then further exaggerated in June 2021, in line with the extension to the holiday on taxes paid on property purchases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Following a decrease in July, average house prices increased in the months of August and September 2021, reaching a record level in September 2021 (when the last of the tax holidays came to an end in England). Despite a slight fall in the month of October 2021, average house prices remain higher than the previous peak seen in June.

Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.7% in the 12 months to November 2021, up from 1.6% in the 12 months to October 2021. The beginning of 2021 saw a slowdown in rental price growth, which was driven by prices in London.

In England the October data shows, on average, house prices have fallen by 1.5% since September 2021. The annual price rise of 9.8% takes the average property value to £285,113.

See: UK economy latest - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

Inflation at its highest rate in over a decade

Consumer prices rose by 4.6% in the 12 months to November 2021, according to the lead measure of the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH). This is up from 3.8% in the year to October 2021. Annual inflation rates at this time are influenced by the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) also rose from 4.2% to 5.1% in November 2021.

A wide range of prices contributed to the rise in inflation, with the largest upward contributions coming from motor fuels as well as clothing and footwear, where prices rose this year but fell a year ago.

See: UK economy latest - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

Second State Pension Age Review launches

The Review will consider whether the rules around pensionable age are appropriate, based on the latest life expectancy data and other evidence.

The Pensions Act 2014 requires the government to regularly review State Pension age, and in accordance with law, this latest Review must be published by 7 May 2023.

State Pension age is currently 66 and two further increases are currently set out in legislation: a gradual rise to 67 for those born on or after April 1960; and a gradual rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977. The first Review of State Pension age was undertaken in 2017 and concluded that the next Review should consider whether the increase to age 68 should be brought forward to 2037-39 before tabling any changes to legislation.

This Review will consider a wide range of evidence, for example, it will:

  • examine the implications of the latest life expectancy data;
  • provide a balanced assessment of the costs of an ageing population and future State Pension expenditure;
  • consider labour market changes and people’s ability and opportunities to work over State Pension age;
  • and develop options for setting the legislative timetable for State Pension age that are transparent and fair.

See: Second State Pension Age Review launches - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

£1.02 million research funding awarded for robotic chemist project

Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) is pioneering the use of autonomous mobile robotics within the scientific research laboratory.

To continue to deliver critical analytical capability for chemical, biological and explosives analysis, Dstl is working with industrial and academic partners to develop the application of mobile robotic platforms in laboratory (lab) environments. The majority of the £1,020,000 funding for this 2 year project is provided by the Defence Innovation Unit, with support from Defence Equipment and Support, and the Department for Transport.

Robots have been used in a range of industries for a number of years and fixed systems have even found some use within lab environments.

See:  £1.02 million research funding awarded for robotic chemist project - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How KG Accountants can help

Everything you need to know about setting up and running your social enterprise.

The Specialist services we offer to Community Interest Company include:

The above list of services is not exhaustive. We are pleased to offer advice and assistance on any CIC matters

Arrange a FREE initial consultation.

0207 953 8913

How we can help

Call us today on 0207 953 8913 or complete our enquiry form in order to book a FREE initial consultation.