6 March 2024

Support for small business:

  1. Increasing VAT registration threshold from £85,000 to £90,000 from 1 April, taking around 28,000 small businesses out of paying VAT.
  2. Cut to National Insurance by a further 2p from 6 April, saving the self-employed £650 (combined with previous cuts).
  3. £200m extension of the Growth Guarantee Fund helping 11,000 small businesses access finance.
  4. Fuel duty freeze extended for 12 months until March 2025 with the temporary 5p cut also extended, saving car drivers around £50 this year.
  5. Guarantee on rates to childcare providers supporting parents accessing up to 30 hours a week of free childcare.

Caroline Larissey, Chief Executive at the National Hair & Beauty Federation said:

'We’re pleased that the Government has answered our call for changes to VAT with the raising of the VAT threshold, taking into account inflation. However, there’s more to do. We welcome further discussions with HM Treasury around future VAT reform to ensure a fairer system and to help level the playing field in the hair and beauty sector, including options for reduced rates and tiered rates around the threshold.

However, the silence was deafening on support for apprentices. National Insurance (NI) cuts will benefit the self-employed but where is the support for employers? With wages rising in April, few small and micro sector businesses can afford to take on staff and apprentices and grow the sector. We call on the government to support these businesses, largely female entrepreneurs, bolstering the high street and championing wellbeing in the community’.