A series of changes to UK tax legislation implemented this month have lowered the amount of taxes payable by British businesses. The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) believes this will allow installers to reinvest in business expansion and the hiring of more staff.

These changes include increasing action to cut employment costs, taking the smallest businesses out of employer National Insurance contributions (NICs), extending business rates relief ahead of permanent major rates cuts and allowing businesses to take advantage of lower prices at the pumps.

As of 1 April, businesses are benefitting from:

  • Lower business rates bills. The doubled Small Business Relief Scheme has been extended for another year, saving over 400,000 businesses an average of £890, with some businesses saving up to £1,450. The changes come ahead of cuts to business rates in 2017, when 600,000 small businesses will be taken out of paying business rates altogether
  • A fuel duty freeze, meaning that a van driver is spending £30 less on each tank of fuel and the average haulier £150 less per tank, in comparison to what they paid in 2011
  • Employer NICs for apprentices have been abolished for apprentices aged under 25, saving a business employing an apprentice earning £16,000 a year over £1,000
  • The employment allowance has also increased, reducing the employer's NICs for all businesses and charities from £2,000 to £3,000, helping 500,000 employers hire regular staff
  • Businesses will benefit from an additional investment expected following a cut in capital gains tax (excluding carried interest and gains on residential property).

John Thompson, chief executive at APHC, said: "We welcome the news of the new tax breaks, which are set to have positive impact on Britain's businesses. In particular, the doubling of the Small Business Relief Scheme, which comes ahead of further cuts next year, is likely to significantly benefit members of our industry, saving them an average of £890 per annum to be reinvested in expansion and the creation of new jobs."