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10 May 2019

Weekly Brief 19 - Friday 10 May 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.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU 

Have your say on the National Minimum Wage 

We want to understand how businesses are being impacted by increases to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage. Has your business been affected? If so, how have you adapted to increasing wage costs? Do you employ workers aged under 25? If you're a Big Voice member, have your say before 9.30am on Wednesday 15 May. If not, sign up here.

LATEST ADVICE & OPPORTUNITIES

Free tickets for London Tech Week

FSB has 100 free tickets for the Artificial Intelligence summit (12-13 June) at London Tech Week. Adoption of digital technologies and AI are more important than ever to the day-to-day of running of a productive business. This is a great opportunity to engage with the latest technologies and learn about new solutions for your business. If you're interested in attending, contact dana.elman@fsb.org.uk. Tickets will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

IPO business summit

The Intellectual Property Office is co-hosting the 'Alibaba Business and Intellectual Property Rights Protection Summit' with King's College in London on 12 June. Attendees will learn about unique business opportunities across Alibaba's platforms, as well as industry-leading approaches to online sales and offline IPR protection. Find out more and register here.

MTD service update

Maintenance will be taking place on the Making Tax Digital platform over the coming days - as a result, some services will be unavailable from 4pm on Saturday 11 May until 4pm on Monday 13 May. Payments can be made as normal throughout this period.

HMRC wages clampdown 

More than 220,000 workers who did not receive the National Minimum and Living Wage will be reimbursed £24 million in back pay, HMRC has revealed. The body is also issuing £17 million in financial penalties to employers who breached the rules. Following the increase to wage rates on 1 April, government is encouraging workers who may be at risk of not being paid correctly to speak to their employer or fill in an online complaints form at GOV.UK.

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Wednesday

Amid speculation that the Chancellor Philip Hammond is considering axing the current fuel duty freeze, FSB urged the Government to consider the impact this move could have on small firms. Mike Cherry said, "against a backdrop of unprecedented political uncertainty, the Government's commitment to extending the fuel duty freeze at the last Budget was hugely welcomed by small firms. The Treasury would do well to remember that that uncertainty is still with us."

Thursday

FSB unveiled its small business plan for Europe on Thursday ahead of European Elections on the 23 May. FSB urged MEPs to look beyond continuing Brexit uncertainty and take the lead in implementing a small business plan that will unlock the potential of Europe's 23.8 million small businesses.

Friday

FSB Director of External Affairs & Advocacy Craig Beaumont is quoted in today's FT, arguing that - while the Government is right to tackle low pay - ministers need to do so in a way that protects entrepreneurs at a time of uncertainty. FSB, unions and industry bodies met with the Chancellor and Business Secretary to discuss the future remit of the Low Pay Commission on Thursday.   

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Regional funding

In a debate on regional development funding, Chris Ruane, Shadow Minister for Wales, referenced FSB research calling for funding decisions to continue to be devolved under the UK Shared Prosperity Fund when it is introduced. Wales Minister Kevin Foster declined to announce a date for a UKSPF consultation as the Brexit timetable is still unclear.

JOIN BIG VOICE AND MAKE YOUR BUSINESS HEARD

Big Voice is FSB's unique online research community and it's free for members to join. By responding to one of our surveys, members give us the evidence we need to engage with politicians around the world on the subjects that matter to you. Join for free to make sure your voice is heard. 

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