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28 June 2019

Weekly Brief 26 - Friday 28 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

Latest MTD advice

HMRC has updated its guidance surrounding the Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative. This includes the latest information on how and when to submit returns, put a direct debit in place and secure an exemption. Most VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 must follow the rules for MTD for VAT. More information can be found on the FSB MTD hub. 

PPI claim deadline pending 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has upped its efforts to encourage people to make a claim for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) before its 29 August deadline. Two years ago the FCA moved to draw a line under the mis-selling scandal by setting a deadline for fresh complaints. PPI was sold on business loans as well as consumer products. Find out more here.

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Monday

The Government announced changes to Statutory Sick Pay rebates at the start of the week, as part of reforms to help those with disabilities into work. Welcoming the move, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said that "everyone in our society deserves the opportunity to thrive. For all our members who employ themselves and others with disabilities the right Government support is crucial."

Tuesday

FSB Policy & Advocacy Chairman Martin McTague gave evidence to the Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) Bill Committee. The bill will ensure replacement of the existing five-year business rates revaluation cycle with a three-year cycle.

Thursday

FSB launched its latest report, -A Force for Business', which delves into the experience of service leavers as business owners, stressing the valuable skills they bring to the business community, and making recommendations to government for how they can be better supported. The report was widely covered by the press, featuring in the Telegraph and Business Leader.

Elsewhere, Mike Cherry was in Geneva on Thursday speaking at the World Trade Organisation on International Small Business Day. He spoke about how to facilitate trade for small businesses and tackle non-tariff barriers. He also called on world leaders at the G20 Summit to work together to ease escalating trade tensions.

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Brexit preparedness

During DExEU questions, Secretary of State Stephen Barclay expressed concerns about the extent to which small businesses are prepared for a no-deal Brexit. He warned that messages from parliamentarians that a no-deal would not happen ignore the decision-making power of the EU as to whether an extension is offered. 

MPs debate immigration

In an Opposition Day debate on immigration, the Minister Caroline Noakes said that the Government had listened to the views of FSB and other representative organisations. She reiterated the announcement made earlier in the week that the Migration Advisory Committee would look again at future salary thresholds for those coming to the UK. 

Evidence on business rates

FSB Policy and Advocacy Chair Martin McTague gave evidence to the Non-Domestic Ratings (Lists) Bill Committee, which is examining legislation that will move revaluations from every five years to every three years. In his evidence to the Committee, Martin McTague spoke about the lack of transparency in the valuation system and the problems with Check Challenge Appeal. 

Armed Forces Day

Ahead of Armed Forces Day on 29 June, MPs were debating various issues relating to the armed forces. Anne-Marie Trevelyan spoke about a small business in her constituency that primarily makes fishing rods, but also has particular machinery that allows it to make a small but critical part of a Typhoon wing. Jenny Chapman (Darlington, Labour) spoke about the need to highlight the support available to people leaving the armed forces to run their own businesses. 

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