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08 March 2019

Weekly Brief 10 - Friday 8 March 2019

A wrap of the week’s small business news from FSB’s Westminster Press, Policy and Public Affairs Office. To sign-up for Weekly Brief emails, please use this link.


Making Tax Digital

With just over three weeks to go until the launch of Making Tax Digital (MTD), the Government has issued fresh information to help businesses that will need to adapt to the changes before they come into force on 1 April. FSB has its own MTD hub which has plenty of information to help you with the transition. Please share your views on the roll-out with Lorence Nye and Matt Dickinson. 



This week saw the return of National Apprenticeship Week, shining a light on the great work that apprentices - and those who employ them - do for the economy. 

During the week, FSB responded to the latest findings from the National Audit Office regarding the shortcomings of the UK's apprenticeship system. National Chairman Mike Cherry stressed that, "the most alarming news is that Department for Education might consider options including cutting the number of apprenticeships available for non-levy-paying employers."   


With less than a month to go before the introduction of Making Tax Digital, FSB flagged its information and advice for those who will be affected by the changes before they come into force on 1 April.


FSB published data from its latest Small Business Index survey, showing that confidence remains in negative territory. Thanks to all those who took part through the Big Voice panel. As part of the announcement, Mike Cherry called on the Chancellor to take a stand on late payments, business rates and MTD at the Spring Statement next week.  


A major new report finds that the future for cash in the UK looks limited, as more businesses go cashless. But FSB warned that if we move to a cashless society too swiftly, this could negatively affect smaller firms - especially those in rural areas where many have customers who still pay in cash. Director of External Affairs & Advocacy Craig Beaumont spoke at length about the issue on BBC News.


Today FSB is celebrating International Women's Day, which for 2019 has the theme of #BalanceForBetter. Our research is featured in the Telegraph, while FSB staff and members took to social media to get involved in the celebrations. 


Small business preparedness for a no-deal Brexit

In the House of Lords, Baroness Burt (Lib Dem) asked the Government what assessment they have made of the preparedness of small businesses for a no-deal Brexit. Responding for the Government, Lord Henley said they had provided -ample communication setting out the steps that businesses need to take to prepare'. 

However, Baroness Burt replied that the Government's own no-deal impact assessment revealed that only 17% of small businesses that trade exclusively with the EU had signed up to the necessary identification to continue trading in Europe.


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