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07 June 2019

Weekly Brief 23 - Friday 7 June 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.

LATEST ADVICE & OPPORTUNITIES

Pension checks

In the coming weeks, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) is rolling-out a new wave of compliance checks at employers across the UK who are suspected of being non-compliant with their automatic-enrolment duties. The inspections started in Edinburgh towards the end of last month and will continue over the summer as part of an enforcement campaign aimed at ensuring that employers are meeting their workplace responsibilities. Help from the TPR with staying on top of auto-enrolment duties is at hand: more information is available here.  

HMRC support

HMRC is providing live webinars, videos and online guides for those running VAT-registered businesses. Over the coming weeks, free-to-join webinars are being run on VAT accounting schemes, Making Tax Digital and the VAT flat rate scheme. Its Online Consumer Forum is also free to access. More information about MTD can be found on FSB’s dedicated hub.         

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Monday

The political and media agenda over the first half of this week was dominated by a state visit from US President Donald Trump. As he touched down, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry stressed that small businesses must not be forgotten as the future trading relationship between the US and UK develops. His intervention was widely covered, including in a CityAM leader column.

The past seven days have also seen the launch of Pride month 2019. FSB is once again celebrating the LGBT+ small business community throughout June. Find out more about our work here.

Tuesday

FSB and the Department for Education took part in a Twitter chat to discuss the importance of the forthcoming introduction of T Levels later this year. The discussion featured FSB’s Apprenticeships and Skills Policy Chair Anthony Impey as well as Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships Anne Milton.

As Trump’s state visit continued, FSB’s Head of Policy Sonali Parekh appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss the importance of a good trade deal with the US.

Thursday

On Thursday, FSB, the CBI, Which?, the TUC and the Fairtrade Foundation issued a joint release stressing the need to work together to create an inclusive trade policy for the UK. The statement came ahead of the first meeting of a newly-formed Strategic Trade Advisory Group which has been created to inform trade initiatives as the UK leaves the EU.

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Supply chains

Referencing FSB research, Tan Dhesi MP (Labour, Slough) asked what the Government is doing to meet its target of spending 33 per cent of central government’s procurement budget with smaller firms and stop late payments linked to public infrastructure projects. Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden said that the Government has set a target of payment within five days for 90 per cent of undisputed invoices issued by small businesses within the context of such projects.  

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