As far as budgets go, the Summer Budget 2015 was a pretty big one. This was the first totally Conservative budget since 1996, and the Tories would finally be able to announce policies all of their own, without being pegged back or modified by the Lib Dems. But unlike other budgets, only a few details were leaked in advance, so much of what was announced on Wednesday was going to be fresh news. Here’s some of the main points from the Summer Budget 2015 and my thoughts on how they will affect the UK window and doors industry.
- New national living wage announced for people 25 and over. It will start at £7.20 per hour from next April, rising to £9 by 2020.
This was perhaps the flagship policy announced by George Osbourne. For some it will mean a marked increase in pay. I’m sure most employees within the UK window and door industry are well paid already, but for those perhaps lagging behind, this is good news. It equates to a £5000 wage rise over five years.
It’s good news for us guys too. A £5000 wage rise is good money, and makes big ticket items like windows and doors more accessible for more people.
- Personal allowance tax to rise to £11,000 by next year, rising to £12,500 by 2020
So not only are millions of people getting a wage rise, they’re going to get to keep more of it thanks to a rise in the point at which tax is paid. The higher 40p rate will also rise to £43,000. So more disposable income for people to spend on new windows and doors in the coming years!
- Corporation tax to be cut to 19% by 2017, 18% by 2020
Good news for business! Less tax paid, more money in the account to reinvest in the business.
- A brand new levy on big business for apprenticeships
This is one that really stood out for me and will do for any company wanting to invest in apprentices or businesses that are involved with them in any way. Big business is going to be levied in order to create funds for 3 million new apprenticeship places during the Parliament. This is great news, and I personally hope that some of those are funnelled into the window and door industry as we still face a massive skills and age gap in the coming years that desperately needs filling.
- No rise in fuel duty
Good news for everyone really. Although I would like to see the general price of fuel coming down a bit, considering the price of oil has been dropping steadily for the past few weeks!
- Economy grew by 3% in 2014
- Economy set to grow by 2.4% this year, 2.3% in 2016 and 2.4% in 2017 and 2018
- A million new jobs predicted to be created by 2020
Good news about the economy in general. It’s showing steady growth for the next few years. That is however not taking into account the possibility of shocks to the economy, such as the disaster unfolding in Greece, and the sharp decline on the Chinese stock exchange.
However, it’s not all roses. There have been cuts to areas such as tax and universal credits, working age benefits, housing benefit etc.
I think in general this was a good budget. Harsh on those trying to sponge the system, good for businesses, apprenticeships and employees. I think all of these measures will have a positive impact on our own window and door industry, and help boost our own businesses over the coming years. Let’s just hope problems in Europe and elsewhere don’t spoil things for us here!