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The Budget 2013 – what does it mean for recruitment?

This year’s Budget wasn’t without its hitches, and The Evening Standard’s premature publishing of the results will lead to a review on how information is released in the future. It’s clear that George Osborne brought some welcome news to Britain though; September’s 3p fuel duty rise is to be scrapped, beer duty will be cut by 1p, and a 20% tax relief on childcare up to £6,000 per child is to be implemented from 2015. But how have the outcomes affected the recruitment industry?

Well, one of our clients – giant group – welcomed the promise of a clampdown on tax avoidance. A tax loophole has allowed firms to avoid paying up to £100m a year in National Insurance through the use of offshore payroll services. The result of this is that, for a long time, many contract workers weren’t eligible for statutory payments such as sick pay or maternity pay, but they didn’t know this was the case. After the recent scandals seen with the likes of Starbucks, Osborne made it clear that the government is not going to let firms get away with avoiding tax anymore, which will mean that the benefits that come from paying National Insurance will become much more widely available for contract workers.

With employment more generally, 600,000 more jobs are expected this year than at the same time last year, and certain sectors, such visual effects, are getting a welcome boost. On top of this, SMEs are to be given a helping hand with 450,000 small firms being exempt from paying National Insurance.

However, whilst it’s clear that steps in the right direction are being made to help our economy, perhaps the Budget hasn’t gone far enough to tackle some of the key problems affecting recruitment. It’s been argued that it may have been better to focus on investment in science and technology or measures to address youth unemployment rather than corporation tax cuts. And equally, there was no mention of training or apprenticeship programmes, despite the wide recognition of their value.

There are always going to be apparent winners and losers, and only time will tell how the Budget will really affect the economy. But what are your thoughts? How will the Budget influence you and your organisation? Let us know by commenting below.

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