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Rishi Sunak’s key announcements in today’s Budget statement

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  • Huge tax hike announced – with corporation tax on company profits rising by 6% to 25% in 2023
  • Furlough extended until September
  • Income tax threshold freeze likely to mean working Britons pay more – with tax burden from 2025 highest since 1960s
  • Universal Credit uplift of £20 extended for six months
  • Budget to feature plan to extend furlough until September
  • Business rates, VAT and stamp duty reductions extended
  • Contactless limit more than doubles
  • Sunak to give news conference at 5pm – the first of its kind for a budget
  • Federation of Small Businesses said they were disappointed that there was not enough in the budget for “job creation”.

 

A HUGE hike in corporation tax is probably the main headline announcement of the budget.

The chancellor said: “This new higher rate won’t take effect until April 2023, well after the point when the OBR expect the economy to have recovered. And even this, because corporation tax is only charged on profits, any struggling businesses will, by definition, be unaffected.

“I’m protecting small businesses with profits of £50,000 or less, by creating a Small Profits Rate, maintained at the current rate of 19%.”

“This means around 70% of companies – 1.4 million businesses – will be completely unaffected.

“And third, we will introduce a taper above £50,000, so that only businesses with profits of £50,000 or greater will be taxed at the full rate of 25″%.”

The Chancellor also said businesses can carry back losses of up to £2m for three years and adds that the bank surcharge will be reviewed so combined rate of tax on UK banking sector doesn’t increase significantly from current level.

This announcement was on top of a raft of other measures, including the previously leaked extension of the furlough scheme, and confirmation that
the Hospitality and tourism will continue to enjoy a 5% reduced rate of VAT for a further six months.

Support for the self-employed will also be extended until the end of September.

“When the scheme was launched, the newly self-employed couldn’t qualify because they hadn’t all filed a 2019-20 tax return,” Rishi Sunak says.

“But as the tax return deadline has now passed, I can announce today that, provided they filed a tax return by midnight last night, over 600,000 more people, many of whom only became self-employed last year can now claim the fourth and fifth grants.”

Commenting on the Budget statement, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “At the start of this pandemic, as Conservatives we said we would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods – and today’s budget continues that commitment to families, workers and businesses across Wales.

“After the most difficult year in the history of peacetime Britain, the budget extends the support for Wales to save jobs, invests in industry and business, and provides an extra £740 million of funding to the Welsh Government.

“Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay must now use this additional funding to extend the business support for firms across Wales and deliver a council tax freeze to help keep more money in the pockets of hardworking people.

“Our recovery and future economy depends on remaining as one United Kingdom. Only the Welsh Conservatives – working with, rather than against a Conservative UK Government – can succeed in getting things done to rebuild Wales.”

ADDITIONAL  MEASURES

Rishi Sunak confirmed that 95% mortgages will be guaranteed by the government as part of government plans to turn “generation rent into generation buy”.
“I’m pleased to say that several of the country’s largest lenders including Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, Barclays and HSBC will be offering these 95% mortgages from next month, and I know more, including Virgin Money will follow shortly after,” the chancellor says.
“A policy that gives people who can’t afford a big deposit the chance to buy their own home.”

Working Tax Credit claimants will also be given more support for the next six months, with a one-off payment of £500, it has been announced.

A welcome announcement for many families in Wales will be the confirmation that the Universal Credit uplift of £20-a-week will continue for another six months, the chancellor announces

The Chancellor also added that the personal tax thresholds will be frozen.

Hospitality and tourism will continue to enjoy a 5% reduced rate of VAT for a further six months

STAMP DUTY

As part of the spring budget, the Chancellor has just announced that the stamp duty holiday is to be extended, offering a total tax saving on properties costing up to £500,000 and a reduction on homes costing more than that. In addition first-time buyers will have access to government guaranteed mortgages with a deposit of just 5%. Home Insurance Expert at Confused.com Jessica Willock says:
“The new government backed mortgage scheme should give first-time buyers the chance to save on rent payments and take steps onto the property ladder.
“Our research found that more than a quarter (27%) of people said that if they knew of ways to save money when it comes to their homes, they would use them. So, the stamp duty holiday extension can also be seen as an opportunity to give buyers the boost that they need by removing some of the financial pressure attached to a new home.

“But the extension is only temporary, lasting until June 30th. So, whether you’re already in the purchase process or you’re deliberating a move, it’s important to get the ball rolling as the deal must complete by the deadline, otherwise you could face some big bills. If you’re confused about what you may have to pay, use our Stamp Duty Calculator to help you factor in the fees.”
Commenting on the furlough extension, Aude Barral, co-founder of developer recruitment platform CodinGame, said: “There will be a collective sigh of relief from families across the country that the furlough scheme has been extended.

“Millions of people will have been facing the prospect of having little or no income from May, and for the time being that cliff-edge scenario has been avoided. But the problem hasn’t gone away, it’s simply been kicked down the road.

“Furlough is protects salaries, not jobs. Many furloughed workers will still be worried they won’t have a job to go back to when the financial support eventually ends.

“There will be thousands of businesses going to the wall over the coming months and sectors such as hospitality and retail may never fully recover.

“The Government has provided its roadmap out of lockdown, but it’s roadmap out of furlough feels disjointed and a little vague.

“Millions of people are facing unemployment without the transferable skills they need to find a new career.

“There wasn’t enough in the Chancellor’s speech to address the digital skills gap, for my liking. Digital upskilling should be at the forefront of the Government’s plans to unlock the country’s full potential, as that’s where demand is going to be post-pandemic, in a fast changing digital landscape.

“Businesses need to be continually updating their workers’ digital skills to remain competitive, and individuals need the help and support to identify the transferable skills they have and develop new skills to stand the best chance of finding a new job or career.

“We live in a world where new technologies play an increasingly important role in all aspects of business, and demand for digitally skilled employees is only going in one direction.”

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Demolition underway at Haverfordwest’s Western Quayside

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DEMOLITION WORK is underway at Western Quayside in Haverfordwest (the former Ocky White building) as part of a major construction project to redevelop the site.

Commenced earlier this year, the project will provide a modern and stylish three-storey development, including a food emporium, bar and roof-top terrace.

The Pembrokeshire County Council scheme incorporates public realm improvements including an attractive waterfront square with space for events which could extend its use into the early evening.

The demolition is due to be finished by mid-December, when works will move on to the installation of the substructure foundations and then onto the steel work installation in the New Year. The project is anticipated to be complete in early 2023.

The scheme is funded by the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme and the Building for the Future programme through the European Regional Development Fund. The contractors are John Weavers Ltd.  

Rachel Moxey, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration, said the development, combined with its potential for leisure and community use, aimed to encourage greater vitality and resilience within the town centre over time.

“The project is evidence of the Authority’s commitment to support the regeneration of Pembrokeshire’s county town,” she said. “Not only will it help drive footfall to Haverfordwest, it will also support business growth and create an additional community hub.”

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “Our Transforming Towns programme is providing £136 million to further support the economic and social recovery of town and city centres across Wales, building on existing investment of £800 million in over 50 of our towns since 2014.

“Transforming Towns is focussed on improving biodiversity and green infrastructure, repurposing neglected properties, increasing flexible working and living space, and providing access to services.

“Our town centre first policy means that town centres should be the first consideration for all decisions on the location of workplaces and services. Our town and city centres face many challenges which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“That’s why we are investing heavily to ensure that our towns not only survive but thrive, and we are brave in reinvigorating them into places where people want to spend their time.”

Local County Councillor Tom Tudor welcomed the progress on site: “Combined with other initiatives taking place, I am very optimistic that Haverfordwest Town Centre will become a thriving commercial and residential location of choice, creating a distinct destination and sense of place,” he said.

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Businesses given opportunity to ‘meet the buyer’ for Greenlink interconnector

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A ‘Meet-the-Buyer’ day for potential suppliers will be held in Pembroke Dock on Wednesday 3 November for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which is scheduled to start construction in early 2022.  Greenlink will link the GB and Irish electricity transmission systems via 190km of underground and subsea cables between Pembrokeshire and Wexford, Ireland, and is one of Europe’s most significant energy infrastructure projects. 

The Meet-the-Buyer event will be an opportunity for businesses in the area to hear the latest news about the project, including the construction programme, to meet representatives from the appointed EPC contractors Siemens Energy and Sumitomo Electric, to discuss what their business can offer and to find out how to bid for contracts. 

James O’Reilly, CEO of Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said; 

“Greenlink will provide benefits to both Ireland and Wales in terms of employment, security of supply and the integration of low carbon energy sources. Greenlink, Siemens Energy and Sumitomo Electric are committed to offering local supply chain opportunities wherever possible and we encourage businesses who feel they can offer goods or services to come along and meet the team to find out more.” 

Chris Turner, Senior Project Manager at Siemens Energy said; 

“During the construction phase, there will be a requirement for a range of goods and services, from office cleaning, site security and local accommodation, to fencing, scaffolding and minor civils works.  We would encourage local businesses to check the full list of what we might be looking for and we look forward to discussing opportunities with them at the event.” 

Advance registration for the event is essential.  Meetings can be booked by visiting: https://wales.business-events.org.uk/en/events/greenlink-interconnector-meet-the-buyer-event/ 

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KFC Pembroke Dock will open doors officially next month following trial

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KFC in Pembroke Dock will open its doors to the public next month, following a trial run for friends and family of employees.

The store has also been opening for time-to-time without the drive-thru to the public, and queues have been long.

There has been some confusion with the public thinking that the outlet is already open properly, but friend chicken fans will have to wait a little longer for the entire service until the new store officially opens.

On their Facebook page the company said: “There’s been a lot of speculation, we did a test lunch on October 20 for friends and family.

“If all goes well we will be open very soon.”

A spokesperson for KFC Pembroke Dock later told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “We’re looking for a grand opening on November 3, but that date could still change.”

KFC Pembroke Dock posted on Facebook on Monday saying: “Good evening to you all.

“As you may have noticed we have been temporarily opening our doors to help our staff training and test our equipment.

“This has not been an official open as nothing has been announced from us. “We still do not have an official full opening date as we are still managing some technical problems.

“We apologise for the queue times and wait times and assure you we are doing everything we can to get your food to you as soon as possible.

“I understand it can be frustrating. Our staff team are all working their hardest to deliver you gold standard products, and we will not tolerate any abusive behaviour towards any member of staff.

“Our delivery will be online soon after we officially open, along with drive thru.

“Thank you to everyone who has visited us already and we look forward to seeing you soon.”

Local Dai Morgan said: “I had food from you the other night and must say it was bloody lovely only a 20-minute wait for it which considering how busy it was that was OK can’t wait for the drive through to be open!”

Lynda Worrell said: “I went there this evening (Monday) and waited 50 minutes got home all my food was wrong, they shouldn’t open to the public if not ready or at lol least tell us that there still on a trial run.

Mike Axford-Miles replied by saying: “Calm down… they just opened the doors, new staff, new starts, I waited 30 minutes for fast food, I understand that they had been open for 1 day, so didn’t complain. Did you actually see how busy they were. They didn’t stop. And let’s face it, KFC coming to Pembrokeshire is like the second coming of Jesus Christ.”

New Pembroke Dock store as it neared competition earlier this month (Pic KFC Facebook)

DID YOU KNOW ?

KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky during the Great Depression.

KFC: One of the first American fast-food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico by the mid-1960s.

Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept and the first “Kentucky Fried Chicken” franchise opened in Utah in 1952.

KFC popularized chicken in the fast-food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger.

By branding himself as “Colonel Sanders”, Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising to this day.

However, the company’s rapid expansion overwhelmed the aging Sanders and he sold it to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey in 1964.

KFC was one of the first American fast-food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Jamaica by the mid-1960s. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it experienced mixed fortunes domestically, as it went through a series of changes in corporate ownership with little or no experience in the restaurant business.

In the early 1970s, KFC was sold to the spirits distributor Heublein, which was taken over by the R. J. Reynolds food and tobacco conglomerate; that company sold the chain to PepsiCo.

The chain continued to expand overseas, however, and in 1987 it became the first Western restaurant chain to open in China.

It has since expanded rapidly in China, which is now the company’s single largest market. PepsiCo spun off its restaurants division as Tricon Global Restaurants, which later changed its name to Yum! Brands.

KFC’s original product is pressure fried chicken pieces, seasoned with Sanders’ recipe of 11 herbs and spices.

The constituents of the recipe are a trade secret. Larger portions of fried chicken are served in a cardboard “bucket”, which has become a feature of the chain since it was first introduced by franchisee Pete Harman in 1957.

Since the early 1990s, KFC has expanded its menu to offer other chicken products such as chicken fillet sandwiches and wraps, as well as salads and side dishes such as French fries and coleslaw, desserts and soft drinks; the latter often supplied by PepsiCo.

KFC is known for its slogans “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good!”, “Nobody does chicken like KFC” and “So good”.

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