The Budget for dummies

It’s being billed as one of the most important Budgets since the war, but if you don’t know your bailouts from your quantitative easing, where’s the fun?

Never fear, though: Smarta has rounded up some of the most important business measures Darling is expected to announce so all you need to do is kick back, relax, and enjoy the carnage.

Empty property rate relief
After the much-despised plans to scrap empty property rate relief came into effect after the last Budget, there are signs Alistair Darling may perform a u-turn, delighting entrepreneurs and property owners alike.

Business payment support service extension
Experts have speculated Darling may introduce measures to allow small businesses to defer the payment of tax to HMRC. There are claims £1.8bn has already been advanced under the scheme, but under the current climate, businesses will always welcome more.

Carry-back of tax losses
While HMRC already allows businesses to carry back tax losses of £50,000 or less made in the year to November 2009, there have been rumours this may be extended to a three-year period, giving firms a bit more room to breathe.

Support in retaining staff
With unemployment now topping the two million mark, businesses need all the help they can get in retaining staff. Darling has dropped strong hints this may take the form of a cut in Employers’ National Insurance – and speculators have added this may drop from 12.8% to as low as 8%.

Supply-chain credit insurance
We wrote on Wednesday Treasury insiders have said this is likely to form the centrepiece of this Budget. With credit insurance becoming more and more difficult to secure, the government is expected to underpin credit insurance so if a supplier goes out of business, they won’t have to foor the bill.

VAT increase
The VAT cut earlier this year was supposed to be the answer to all our problems, but mostly resulted in what business organisations branded a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’. Now Darling may be set to recoup his losses by increasing it – possibly driving it as high as 20%.

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