As the clock ticks towards 01 April 2024, businesses across the nation are bracing themselves for the significant minimum wage increase set to come into effect. With no accompanying support from governments in these challenging times, the burden falls on the shoulders of businesses to adapt and plan effectively.

The Rise of Minimum Wage

As with every year, April 1st marks a pivotal moment as the minimum wage sees a substantial increase. Workers aged 21 and over will be entitled to the National Living Wage where currently it was workers aged 23 and over. While the intention behind such adjustments is to uplift low-wage workers and tackle income inequality, the reality for businesses is starkly different. For many, this hike presents a formidable challenge, with limited government assistance.


23 and over

21 to 22

18 to 20

Under 18


Current rate






01 April 2024





For small and medium-sized businesses already grappling with rising costs, the wage increase poses a significant threat. Increased labour costs can directly translate into higher operational expenses, potentially squeezing already tight budgets.

The Importance of Planning

In these challenging times, proactive planning becomes paramount. Businesses must undertake a comprehensive assessment of their current financial standing, identifying areas where cost-saving measures can be implemented without compromising on quality. From optimising operational efficiencies to exploring alternative revenue streams, every avenue must be explored to mitigate the impact of the wage hike.


Conduct a thorough review of existing processes and workflows to identify inefficiencies. Planning is key more than ever and will help you weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

A couple of weeks ago we highlighted main aspects of the previous chancellors mini-budget. A lot has happened in the house of parliament recently and the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt reverses most of the mini-budget tax cuts.


Below you can find the updated version from Jeremy Hunts statement.


National Insurance

One of the few things that is staying, is the reversal of the National Insurance social care levy. From 6th November 2022, the extra 1.25% will no longer be added to National Insurance contributions. This means a saving of £330 per year for nearly 28 million people.


Originally the extra 1.25% was introduced to fund the NHS, however, this will now be funded through general taxation.


Income Tax

The biggest reversal is in the rates of income tax. The ex-chancellor said that income tax will be down to 19% from April 2023, however, this will now not go ahead. It will remain at 20% for now.


The abolition of the 45% higher rate income tax has also been reversed. The 45% higher rate income tax band now means that the higher rate earners will pay income tax on earnings over £150,000


Corporation Tax

The reversal on corporation tax for companies means that the increase from 19% to 25% will go ahead after all. This will come into action from April 2023. Only businesses with profits of £250,000 or greater will be taxed at the full 25% rate - about 10% of companies in the UK.


Any companies with profits of £50,000 or lower, will pay at the 19% rate



Rules around the benefit system will remain and unchanged. Benefits can be reduced if people don’t actively search for job commitments. Around 120,000 more people on universal credit to be encouraged to actively seek more work, the over 50’s to be given extra time to work with coaches to help them in the return to work.


What else has been cancelled?

Other measures that have been cancelled include:

·         VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors,

  • A freeze on alcohol duty. Planned increases in the duty rates for beer, cider, wine and spirits will now go ahead
  • Cuts to the tax paid on shareholders' dividends - the increase introduced in April will now stay in place



A typical household using both gas and electricity would pay no more than £2,500 annually for two years the government said. However, the energy price guarantee now only covers this winter. It will be in place until April next year. A review will look at what measures should be put in place after this date.


Stamp Duty

Stamp duty will remain in place. In England, no stamp duty is paid on first £250,000 and for first time buyers, this is increased to £425,000. To check out Wales’ stamp duty rates, please click here


These rules seem like they will stay in place now but, as always, we will keep you up to date with the latest

The chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has claimed that he has made the biggest tax cuts in a generation. So, what is in his mini-budget?

National Insurance

With the cost of living on the rise it is paramount that the Government step in to help. The biggest announcement from this mini budget is the reversal of National Insurance levy that was introduced in April 2022 by ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak. The extra 1.25% increase was going to be used to help fund health and social care. With the latest turnaround, the funding for health and social care will now come from general taxation. 

The reversal means an extra £330 per year for nearly 28 million people and will start from 6th November 2022. National Insurance is a tax paid by employees, employers and the self-employed. Employees pay National Insurance on their wages as well as income tax, employers pay extra NI contributions for staff, and the self-employed pay National Insurance on their profits.

Income Tax

There are also cuts in basic rate of income tax. Currently at 20% for everyone that earns above the personal allowance, from April 2023 this will be down to 19% Government estimates 31 million people will be getting an extra £170 a year in their pay packets.

45% higher rate of income tax abolished for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland taxpayers and a one single higher rate of income tax of 40% from April 2023.

Corporation Tax

Companies will also benefit as the rise in corporation tax has been cancelled. Corporation tax was due to be increased from 19% to 25% in April 2023, however, now this will not go ahead.


Rules around the benefit system have also been changed. Benefits can be reduced if people don’t actively search for job commitments. Around 120,000 more people on universal credit to be encouraged to actively seek more work, the over 50’s to be given extra time to work with coaches to help them in the return to work.


Overseas visitors will also benefit as VAT-free shopping to be introduced. This will encourage visitors to spend more while in the UK. Planned increases in the duties on beer, cider, wine, and for spirits have also been cancelled.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is paid when people buy a property. No stamp duty is paid currently on first £250,000 and for first time buyers, this is increased to £425,000. This is currently for England, we will have to wait and see what the Welsh Government do for us.


Energy bills was the one that worried most homeowners. There will be a freeze on energy bills which the government claims will reduce inflation by 5%

Total cost for the energy package to be expected around £60bn for the 6 months from October.

Click here to find out all the other information covered in the mini-budget.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced the Autumn Budget on Wednesday. A ‘New economy’ as it was branded to help us get through the winter. We digest the budget and give the main highlights and what it means for you. If you did want to read the full budget, please click here 

National Living Wage

There is a lot to get through and one of the notable changes in the Chancellors budget was the increase in the National Living Wage. We will see an increase in pay to £9.50 per hour for anyone aged 23+ from April 2022. That’s an increase of 6% from the current £8.91 and the pay rise worth extra £1,000 for full time workers.

Social Care Levy

A new health and social care levy is to be introduced on all of us. It is a 1.25% charge on 

National Insurance from April 2022.  The rate also affects Employers National Insurance, and the dividend rates will also change in line with the new social care levy of 1.25%

Employees National insurance will change from 12% to 13.25%

Employers National Insurance will change from 13.8% to 15.05%

Sole traders National Insurance will rise from 9% to 10.25%

Dividend rates as follows:

Lowest rate 8.75% from April 2022

Mid-rate 33.75%

High rate 39.35%

From April 2023 the 1.25% social care levy will show as a separate section of the tax rate system. National Insurance will revert to where it was.

Why is this social care levy coming in?

The funds from the social care levy will be used for care homes and funding for pensioners. This includes several reforms to how people pay for adult social care in England, supported by £5.4 billion of investment over the next three years.

The reforms include:

From October 2023 a cap on personal care costs of £86,000.

The threshold above which somebody is not eligible for local authority support towards their social care costs (upper capital limit) is increasing from £23,250 to £100,000 from October 2023.

The threshold below which somebody does not have to contribute towards their care costs from their capital (lower capital limit) is increasing from £14,250 to £20,000.

If somebody has capital between £20,000 and £100,000 the local authority may fund some of their care, but they may have to contribute up to 20% of their chargeable assets per year (in addition to their income).

Increasing the amount of income that care recipients can retain after contributing towards their care costs (the Minimum Income Guarantee and the Personal Expenses Allowance) in line with inflation from April 2022.

Corporation Tax

From April 2023 changes to corporation tax are coming in place. The reintroduction of the marginal rate system which has been done away with for several years. 

Corporation tax rates for business with:

Profit £50,000 or below – 19% rate

Profit between £50,000 to £250,000 - 25% rate (less marginal relief calculation)

Profit above £250,000 - 25% rate

Super deduction for purchase of equipment and allowance capital allowances will bring tax relief of 130% applies to incorporated (Limited companies, PLC’s) business only and is in place for two years. 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023

The £1 million annual investment allowance is still available to every company including sole traders.

Business Rates

A new one year 50% business rates discount for retail, hospitality, & leisure businesses for England. Wales already have a discount in place until April next year. We will have to see what the Welsh government say in December for the updates of business rates in Wales. 

Small business rates relief still apply.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit taper rate is cut by 8%, as of now for every £1 earned, 63p gets taken off. With the new rate cut, for every £1 earned, 55p will be deducted. Allowing lower paid people to keep hold of more benefit when they are working. The target date for this is 1st December.

Alcohol Duty

The tax on some alcoholic drinks such as beer, cider and wine will be slashed. The drinks with lower-level percentage of alcohol will mean a lower rate of tax. This means that next time you go to the pub and order a pint or on a night out, a glass of prosecco, will be a little bit cheaper.

It doesn’t matter if it is UK produced or imported. Tax relief for small brewers that produce under 8% alcohol. 

The budget brings about optimism boosted by prediction of higher growth for the UK after Covid. The Chancellor hit an upbeat tone as he talks up building a “stronger economy of the future”. Again, if you want the full version of the budget, please click here

The UK Government announced a new capital allowances relief. From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will be able to claim:

  • 130% super-deduction capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments
  • 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets

This super-deduction is designed to promote companies to invest in productivity enhancing plant and machinery. It is important businesses understand and take advantage of these generous new reliefs while they are available.

The super-deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, ensuring the UK capital allowances regime is amongst the world’s most competitive. There is no upper limit set for the expenditure, so as long the expenditure is incurred between 1 April 2021 – 31 March 2023. The enhanced relief also does not allow for plant and machinery that will be made available for leasing (including landlord fixtures within rented property) and excludes cars.


The pandemic has been a big blow for a lot of businesses, if you have been looking at equipment to help you grow, now may be the time to use this relief. If you are not sure on whether it is the right time to make a purchase, or if the equipment qualifies for the super-deduction relief, message us on or if you would prefer to chat, call Cardiff: 02920 653 995 or Bridgend: 01656 530 063. Our team is always happy to help.