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Our bite size review of the Budget 2015 for van drivers

Published on Monday 30 March 2015 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog

Our bite size review of the Budget 2015 for van drivers

£1400 in the pocket of small businesses with a van and the death of the annual tax return.  What's not to like?

Now that the dust has settled on last budget before the election, has the Chancellor just dished out hollow pre-election sweeteners from the economic biscuit tin, or is there anything tangible to help your business grow?  We investigate how the budget announcements affect the small business owning van driver.  Take a look at our bite size chunks, unveiling the good the bad, and the ugly of the Budget 2015:

The budget and your van

  • The proposed fuel duty increase planned for September 2015 has been scrapped.  This can only be good news as despite the recent drop in fuel prices, fuel remains a significant overhead.
  • If you drive an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) the government plans to slow its year on year tax rises announced in the last budget.  Meanwhile, vans emitting more than 75g/km will receive tax increases at a faster rate.
  • Annual road tax will rise by inflation from 1 April 2015.
  • There is a potential 5 pence per litre off fuel for those in rural areas. The government recognises that van drivers in some rural areas face particularly high pump prices compared to the rest of the UK.  It has now received full EU approval to extend the rural fuel rebate scheme to 17 areas of the UK mainland enabling retailers in eligible areas to register for a 5 pence per litre fuel duty discount to pass on to motorists.

The economists claim that tax changes will ease the burden on a small business with a van by £1400 by the end of 2015/16. But what else can you do to pay less tax?  The van manufacturers know that ULEV are going to be a big market for them, so are tripping over themselves to develop the greenest technology.  You might consider new and alternative technology which will soon become more widely available before the 2019 tax changes. If you are a traditionalist, make sure you look at 'Best in Class' emissions on any petrol/diesel vans you think about buying.

The budget and your small business – The headlines

  • Introduction of digital tax accounts for all 5 million small businesses by early 2016
  • Workers will be able to earn £11,000 before paying income tax
  • Cut corporation tax to 20% from April.
  • Abolish national insurance for employing u21s.
  • Rise in the minimum wage to £6.70 this Autumn

Surely all small business owners must welcome the end of one of the biggest headaches out there – the annual tax return!  The increase in personal tax allowance and abolition of NI contributions for U21s should help ease the burden of the rise in minimum wage for small business owners.

The budget, the roads and your small business

  • The Chancellor announced a series of initiatives for road improvements.  Regional snippets include £2bn being be invested in roads in the South-west, including an upgrade to the A303, a tunnel under Stonehenge, and the A30 dualling to Camborne.
  • If you drive your van around the England/Wales border you'll be pleased to hear the toll for crossing the Severn bridge between England and Wales on the M4 would be 'reduced' from 2018

With some serious under-investment in the roads over the last few years, these improvements will help to keep us moving.

The budget, the construction sector and your small business

  • A new Help to Buy ISA will boost the savings of first-time buyers by 25 per cent. For every £200 someone puts towards a deposit, the government will add £50 up to a maximum of £12,000, meaning a bonus of up to £3,000.Savers will be able to earn hundreds of pounds in interest before paying tax.

This is great news for helping first time buyers and gives a much needed boost to the construction sector at the same time.

Of course, there's a lot of reading between the lines with any budget, especially a pre-election warmer.  With 0% inflation, low unemployment and the economic growth figure rising, we think the future looks bright.

How has the budget affected your driving habits and small business?

Tweet us @Vanarama and let us know!