Newsletter – February 2017

Enews – February 2017

In this month’s eNews we report on changes for landlords which take effect from April 2017, increased NMW and NLW rates and progress on Making Tax Digital. We also include several announcements from HMRC on tax return excuses, a new Helpline and details of successful prosecutions.

We also include the latest announcements regarding Pensions Auto Enrolment. Please do get in touch if you would like any further guidance on any of the areas covered.

Making Tax Digital

The government published their responses to the six consultations on making tax digital (MTD).

In response to the consultations the government have decided the following:

  • businesses will be able to continue to use spreadsheets for record keeping, but they must ensure that their spreadsheet meets the necessary requirements of Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB). This is likely to involve combining the spreadsheet with software
  • businesses eligible for three line accounts will be able to submit a quarterly update with only three lines of data (income, expenses and profit)
  • free software will be available to businesses with the most straightforward affairs
  • the requirement to keep digital records does not mean that you have to make and store invoices and receipts digitally
  • activity at the end of the year must be concluded and sent either by ten months after the last day of the period of account or 31 January, whichever of these is soonest
  • charities (but not their trading subsidiaries) will not need to keep digital records
  • for partnerships with a turnover above £10 million, MTDfB is deferred until 2020 due to the complexity of their tax affairs.

The MTD consultations also specifically explored the appropriate level of the initial exemption and deferral for the self-employed, landlords and businesses. Given the range of views expressed on this matter from respondents to the consultation, the government has decided to take more time to consider these issues alongside the fiscal impacts. Final decisions will be made before the law is finalised later this year.

In addition, HMRC will begin piloting digital record keeping and quarterly updates for a full year from April 2017, building up to working with hundreds of thousands of businesses and landlords before rolling the services out more widely. The stated aim of this pilot is to ensure the software is user-friendly and give individuals and businesses time to prepare and adapt. Piloting of the system had been recommended by the Treasury Select Committee.

Select Committee’s findings

The Treasury Select Committee has urged HMRC to implement a series of wide-ranging pilots in order to better test the government’s plans for the new digital tax initiative, Making Tax Digital (MTD), before it becomes compulsory for the majority of taxpayers.

The report found that, while the government had already carried out trials of the new initiative, those businesses which took part had done so at HMRC’s invitation.

The Committee stated that comprehensive pilots of MTD are ‘essential’, and that these need to be designed to collect information over the entire reporting cycle.

It also suggested that an evaluation of these pilots should be carried out before the full implementation of the scheme which is expected, for all but the smallest businesses to be implemented from April 2018 onwards.

Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

‘Without sufficient care, MTD could be a disaster. Implemented carefully, with long transitional arrangements where necessary, and, having drawn on information from fully inclusive pilots, MTD could be designed for the benefit both of the economy and of the tax yield. But with a rushed introduction, it will benefit neither.’

MTDfB will still be phased in from April 2018. We will keep you informed of developments.

Internet links: Parliament MTD GOV.UK MTD responses Consultations

Pay the NMW – no excuses

The government has revealed ten of the most bizarre excuses used by unscrupulous business owners who have been found to have underpaid workers the NMW.

These employers used excuses such as ‘only wanting to pay staff when there are customers to serve and believing it was acceptable to underpay workers until they had ‘proved’ themselves’.

The government has launched an awareness campaign to encourage workers to check their pay to ensure they are receiving at least the statutory minimum ahead of the NMW and NLW increases on 1 April 2017.

Employers need to ensure they are paying their employees at least the NMW and NLW.

Rate from 1 October 2016 Rate from 1 April 2017
NLW for workers aged 25 and over (introduced and applies from 1 April 2016) £7.20 £7.50
the main rate for workers aged 21-24 £6.95 £7.05
the 18-20 rate £5.55 £5.60
the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18 £4.00 £4.05
the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship £3.40 £3.50

This will be the second increase in six months for the NMW rates. Going forward the NMW and NLW rates will both be reviewed annually in April.

In a recent article in the Employer Bulletin, HMRC cite common errors:

  • not paying the right rate, perhaps missing an employee’s birthday,
  • making deductions from wages which reduce the employee’s pay below the NMW/NLW rate,
  • including top ups to pay that do not qualify for NMW/NLW,
  • failure to classify workers correctly, so treating them as interns volunteers or self employed and
  • failure to include all the time a worker is working, for example time spent shutting up shop or waiting to clear security.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The penalties imposed on employers that are in breach of the minimum wage legislation are 200% of arrears owed to workers. The maximum penalty is £20,000 per worker. The penalty is reduced by 50% if the unpaid wages and the penalty are paid within 14 days. HMRC also name and shame employers who are penalised.

If you would like help with payroll issues please contact us.

Internet link: GOV.UK NMW news

Landlords to receive less tax relief on interest

In a change that will impact residential landlords, the amount of income tax relief available on residential property finance costs will be restricted to the basic rate of income tax. This change will mean that landlords will no longer be able to deduct all of their finance costs from their property income. They will instead receive a basic rate reduction from their income tax liability for their finance costs.

The restriction in the relief will be phased in over a four year period as follows:

  • in 2017/18, the deduction from property income will be restricted to 75% of finance costs, with the remaining 25% being available as a basic rate tax reduction;
  • in 2018/19, 50% finance costs deduction and 50% given as a basic rate tax reduction;
  • in 2019/20, 25% finance costs deduction and 75% given as a basic rate tax reduction;
  • from 2020/21, all financing costs incurred by a landlord will be given as a basic rate tax reduction.

These rules do not apply to residential properties held in companies.

In addition rules may further restrict the relief which is due where the individual’s property income or total income is less than the amount on which basic rate relief is due. The computation is complex so please do get in touch if you would like us to review your position.

Internet link: GOV.UK guidance

More silly taxpayer excuses from HMRC

HMRC have released more unusual excuses from taxpayers who failed to complete their self assessment tax return on time. These include:

  1. ‘My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire’
  2. ‘A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed’
  3. ‘My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days’
  4. ‘My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders’
  5. ‘I couldn’t complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant’
  6. ‘My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back’
  7. ‘I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it’
  8. ‘My husband told me the deadline was the 31 March’
  9. ‘My internet connection failed’
  10. ‘The postman doesn’t deliver to my house’

With the self assessment submission deadline of 31 January now past and an automatic penalty of £100 for failing to submit your return on time, please contact us if you need help bringing your affairs up to date.

Internet link: GOV.UK news

Tax cheats – HMRC’s criminal case highlights of 2016

HMRC have revealed their top ten most significant fraud and organised crime cases of the last year.

Simon York, Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said:

‘Day in, day out, HMRC is coming down hard on tax cheats. As these cases show, we’ll tackle anyone committing tax fraud, regardless of how well resourced, well advised, or well organised. These ten prosecutions are among the most significant cases we’ve handled this year, and they reflect the wide range of work carried out by HMRC.’

Internet link: GOV.UK news

Tax helpline for people affected by severe weather and flooding

HMRC have made available a telephone helpline (0800 904 7900) for anyone affected by severe weather or floods. The helpline allows anyone affected to get practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems they may be facing. These could be financial issues regarding making payment, issues regarding lost or damaged records and may include cancelling penalties where deadlines are missed due to severe weather and flooding.

Internet link: GOV.UK helpline

Pensions auto enrolment

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed the thresholds for pensions automatic enrolment for 2017/18.

The main qualifying threshold or ‘trigger’ for employees to be automatically enrolled will be maintained at £10,000 per annum. The lower limit of the qualifying earning band and will be £5,876 and the upper limit £45,000.

The written statement also includes:

‘Automatic enrolment has been a great success to date with almost 7 million people enrolled by more than 293,000 employers. It will give around 11 million people the opportunity to save into a workplace pension and we expect this to lead to around 10 million people newly saving or saving more by 2018, generating around £17 billion a year more in workplace pension saving by 2019/20.’

With over a million micro (1 – 4 employees) and small (5 – 49 employees) employers reaching their staging date for auto enrolment in the last quarter of 2016/17 and throughout 2017/18 it is important to ensure employers comply with their obligations. The Pensions Regulator has confirmed the exceptions which apply to employers which can be found at on their website (see the TPR link below).

Please contact us if you would like help with auto enrolment compliance or to determine whether or not your business is exempt from auto enrolment.

Internet links: Parliament written statement TPR exemptions

Newsletter – January 2013

eNEWS – January 2013

In this month’s enews we report on several employment related issues together with HMRC’s latest campaign. Please contact us if you would like any further information.


Employment rights – statutory limits

The limit on the amount of the compensatory award for unfair dismissal is set to increase from 1 February 2013. The current maximum of £72,300 is to increase to £74,200 due to inflation.

The maximum amount of a week’s pay for the purpose of calculating the basic or additional award of compensation for unfair dismissal or redundancy payments will be increased to £450. This increase on the previous limit of £430 applies from 1 February 2013.

The website includes a calculator of statutory redundancy entitlement.

Internet links: Legislation calculator

HMRC target those with outstanding VAT returns

HMRC have introduced the VAT Outstanding Returns Campaign, which is an opportunity for taxpayers to bring their VAT returns and payments up to date. To take advantage of the best terms, taxpayers must complete and submit their returns by 28 February 2013.

According to HMRC, as many as 50,000 businesses, that have failed to submit VAT returns, will be targeted with warnings that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised.

Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns, said:

‘If HMRC has sent you a VAT return and you have not yet taken any action, this campaign is a reminder to bring your tax affairs up to date. But time is running out.’

‘After 28 February, if they have not submitted their outstanding VAT returns and paid what they owe, HMRC will use its legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and any VAT that is unpaid. Penalties, or even criminal investigation, could follow.’

If you would like any help with VAT returns please do get in touch.

Internet links: Press release VAT Outstanding Returns Campaign

‘Tax cheats’ sentenced to over 150 years behind bars

HMRC have announced that the top ‘tax criminals’ of 2012 have been sentenced to a combined total of 155 years and 10 months behind bars.

Details of over 30 of the UK’s top tax cheats have been publicised on Flickr as part of HMRC’s current Tax Evasion Campaign.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:

‘The government is committed to closing in on tax evaders. Collectively the 32 criminals have been sentenced to more than 150 years. Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t.’

‘We hope that publishing these pictures will help get across that it always makes sense to declare all your income, and tax dodgers are simply storing up trouble for the future.’

HMRC’s top tax criminals of 2012 can be seen at flickr pages

Internet link: Press release

PAYE coding notices

HMRC are issuing PAYE tax codes for 2013/14. These new coding notices, which are due to be issued between January and March 2013, will be used against employees’ pay from April 2013 onwards. It is important that these coding notices are checked carefully, as an incorrect code will result in too little or too much tax being deducted from pay or pension payments.

If you are unsure whether your coding notice is correct and would like some further guidance please do get in touch.

Good news for many

The majority of taxpayers will see an increase in their tax code as the personal allowance (for those born after 5 April 1948) increases from £8,105 to £9,440.

Those individuals with simple tax affairs (just one employer with no reliefs or benefits or tax underpayments brought forward) will generally not receive a coding notice. Their current coding of 810L will be automatically uplifted to 944L following general instructions to employers. Basic rate taxpayers will be better off with a tax saving of £267 for 2013/14.

Although the personal allowance is increasing, the point at which taxpayers start to pay the higher rate of 40% tax on their taxable income is decreasing (from £34,370 to £32,010). This means that higher rate taxpayer will generally benefit from a tax saving of £62.

The withdrawal of the personal allowance for those with income over £100,000 income limit applies for 2013/14. The reduction in the personal allowance is by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income above the income limit. Adjusted net income for these purposes is broadly all income after adjustment for pension payments, charitable giving and relief for losses. Individuals with adjusted net income of at least £118,880 will not be entitled to a personal allowance for 2013/14.

Internet links: Press release HMRC income tax rates and allowances

RTI is coming

HMRC are urging employers to get ready for major PAYE changes that come into effect from April 2013.

From April 2013 employers will have to submit PAYE returns electronically, using RTI enabled payroll software, each time they pay their employees. The new returns form part of routine payroll procedures and will include details of individual employees’ pay, tax and other deductions.

Ruth Owen, HMRC’s Director General Personal Tax, said:

‘To avoid a last minute rush it’s vital employers act now, if they have not already done so.’

‘Employers will need to send their first return – called a ‘Full Payment Submission’ or ‘FPS’ for salary or wage payments made to employees on or after 6 April – and if they have 250 or more employees they will have to send an Employer Alignment Submission before the first FPS.’

‘Although reporting PAYE in real time will be straightforward for most, some preparation is needed. There is more to it than simply buying or updating software – although this is key. Employers may need to add employees such as casuals or those below the Lower Earnings Limit to their payroll system and must think about their payroll practices to make sure that they work for real-time reporting.’

If you would like help with payroll and RTI please do contact us.

Internet link: Press release

Start up loan scheme for young entrepreneurs extended

David Cameron has announced a boost to the government’s Start-Up Loans Scheme, with funding being increased by £30 million to £110 million over three years. The upper age limit for applying will also be extended from the current 24 to 30 years old.

Start-Up Loans provide entrepreneurs with a range of support to get their business idea off the ground which includes access to a business mentor as well as funding of approximately £2,500.

To apply for a loan visit

Internet link: News release

State Pension reform

The government have announced proposals for a new single tier pension.

The single tier reforms will restructure the State Pension into a simple flat rate amount from 2017 at the earliest. Those over State Pension age when the reforms are implemented will continue to receive it in line with existing rules.

The single tier pension will:

  • be set above the basic level of means tested support. The amount will be set nearer implementation;
  • replace the State Second Pension, contracting out and out-dated additions, such as the Category D pension and the Age Addition. The Savings Credit element of Pension Credit will also close to pensioners reaching State Pension age after the implementation of the single tier pension;
  • require 35 qualifying years of NIC or credits for the full amount, with pro-rating where 35 years is not achieved. There will also be a minimum qualifying period of between seven and ten qualifying years;
  • be based on individual qualification, without the facility to inherit or derive rights to the State Pension from a spouse or civil partner; and
  • continue to allow people to defer claiming their state pension and receive a higher weekly State Pension in return. The deferral rate will be finalised closer to the planned implementation date. It will no longer be possible to receive deferred State Pension as a lump-sum payment.

The government will also carry out a review of the State Pension age every five years, based around the principle that people should maintain a specific proportion of adult life receiving the State Pension. The first review will take place in the next Parliament.

Internet link: DWP website

Child Benefit opt out

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) was introduced from 7 January 2013. It mainly applies to a taxpayer who has ‘adjusted net income’ in excess of £50,000, where either they or their partner is in receipt of Child Benefit. The effect of the charge is to claw back some or all of the Child Benefit paid. Where both partners have income in excess of £50,000 the charge applies to the partner with the higher income.

Adjusted net income is broadly gross income less pension payments and gift aid payments. Where a taxpayer has adjusted net income of £60,000 or more then the charge has the effect of cancelling out the Child Benefit paid. A sliding scale charge operates where income is between £50,000 and £60,000.

The charge applies to the Child Benefit paid from 7 January to the end of the tax year. However, the income taken into account will be the full income for 2012/13.

Child Benefit claimants had the option to elect not to receive Child Benefit if they or their partner do not wish to pay the new charge.

According to details revealed to the BBC some 270,000 people have opted out of receiving Child Benefit. Apparently there was a late surge of around 80,000 during the weekend before the deadline of 7 January 2013.

Please visit the HMRC Child Benefit guidance link below for more details of the options available.

Internet links: BBC news HMRC Child Benefit guidance

Deadline looming for self assessment returns

HMRC are reminding taxpayers that the countdown has begun to the 31 January 2013 self assessment deadline, with just days left for anyone with an outstanding 2011/12 tax return to send it online.

The deadline of midnight on 31 January 2013 is relevant to individuals who need to complete a self assessment tax return and make direct payments to HMRC in respect of their income tax, Class 4 National Insurance (NI) and any capital gains tax liabilities. There is an automatic penalty of £100 if the return is not submitted on time, even if there is no tax due or the return shows that a refund is due.

The balance of any outstanding income tax, Class 4 NI and capital gains tax for 2011/12 is also due for payment by 31 January 2013. Where the payment is made late interest will be charged.

The first payment on account for 2012/13 is also due for payment by 31 January 2013.

If we have already dealt with your self assessment return on your behalf and advised you what you need to pay you need take no additional action.

Internet links: HMRC SA deadlines and penalties Press release

HMRC bank account details for employers

HMRC have updated their guidance to employers on paying PAYE liabilities. From April 2013 employers who make a payment to HMRC by:

  • Bacs Direct Credit
  • Faster Payments by online/telephone banking

should make payments to a single bank account. From month 1 of 2013/14 payments should be made to the Accounts Office Cumbernauld account using sort code 08 32 10 and account number 12001039.

HMRC has started to send employers information about this change ready for 2013/14.

Internet link: HMRC payments

Newsletter – November 2012

eNEWS – November 2012

In this month’s enews we report on HMRC’s expanded online VAT service and the latest round of HMRC campaigns.

Please contact us if you would like any further details on any of the issues covered.


Changes to VAT online services

HMRC have announced various changes to their online services including the introduction of the VAT online registration service which was promised earlier this year.

They have also taken the opportunity to introduce a new online variations service which should allow businesses to:

  • make changes to the principal place of business and contact details
  • deregister for VAT
  • apply for Annual Accounting or Flat Rate Scheme
  • view and print the VAT certificate and
  • enrol for VAT Online.

Please do get in touch if you would like any assistance with any of these issues.

Internet link: HMRC news

HMRC close in on ‘tax cheats’

HMRC have launched an advertising campaign warning ‘tax cheats’ to declare all their income before it is too late.

The campaign is part of HMRC’s targeted approach to help taxpayers pay the right amount of tax, at the right time. Guidance is available at

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

‘Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t. Using the £917 million the government has made available to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud, HMRC is closing in on tax cheats.’

‘It always makes sense to declare all your income and tax dodgers are simply storing up trouble for the future; getting caught means higher fines, and in the most serious cases criminal prosecution. There is an alternative. Simply visit the new website and make a fresh start.’

Internet link: HMRC press release

HMRC announce latest targets

HMRC have launched new taskforces to tackle ‘tax cheats’ in the following sectors:

  • the rag trade (manufacturing, wholesale, retail and textile recycling in the Midlands, North Wales and the North West)
  • the Scottish alcohol industry and
  • the rental property sector in the South East.

David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, said:

‘The vast majority of people play by the rules. We will not tolerate tax evasion and will crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules.’

‘It cannot be fair that, while most people are paying the right tax, a tiny minority are not paying what they should.’

‘HMRC is on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of taskforces launched in 2011/12.’

Internet links:

Press release on the rag trade Press release on alcohol industry Press release on rental property

Updated approach to Business Records Checks

HMRC have announced an updated approach to business records checks.

Following a pilot programme of Business Records Checks (BRC), which looked at the records of in excess of three thousand SMEs, HMRC have amended their approach to these checks.

Businesses which HMRC believe are more likely to be at risk of having inadequate records will initially be contacted by letter. HMRC will then phone the business to go through a short questionnaire.

Depending on the outcome of this phone call, HMRC will subsequently confirm to some businesses that no further action is required. Where some issues are identified, businesses will be offered targeted self-help education options.

HMRC have confirmed that where businesses are assessed as being at risk of keeping inadequate records they will be referred for a BRC visit.

Please let us know if HMRC contact you about a BRC.

Internet link: HMRC BRC

VAT registration threshold no longer due to those not established in the UK

A decision in the European Court of Justice has confirmed that only businesses established in a Member State can benefit from its domestic VAT registration threshold.

As a consequence, from 1 December 2012, ‘non-established taxable persons’ (NETPs) will no longer be able to benefit from the UK VAT registration threshold. This means that they will be required to register for UK VAT when they make their first supply of goods or services in the UK regardless of the value.

NETPs already making supplies here will be required to register for UK VAT with effect from 1 December 2012.

As detailed in the HMRC guidance:

‘From 1 December 2012, any non-established business which makes or intends to make taxable supplies in the next 30 days has 30 days from the date it formed that intention to notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that it is required to register for VAT. Businesses which become required to register in the UK on 1 December 2012 will have to notify HMRC of that fact by 30 December 2012.’

Please contact us if you have any concerns in this area.

Internet link: VAT Brief

Parties for employees

With the season for office parties fast approaching we thought it would be a good idea to remind you of the tax implications. The good news is that, unlike entertaining customers, the costs of entertaining employees are generally allowable against the profits of the business.

But what about the tax consequences for the employees themselves? Is it a perk of their jobs and will they have to pay tax on a benefit?

Generally, as long as the total costs of all employee annual functions in a tax year are less than £150 per attendee (VAT inclusive) there will be no tax implications for the employees themselves. In considering this limit make sure you have included all the costs, which may include not only the meal itself but also any drinks, entertainment, transport and accommodation that you provide.

If the costs are above the £150 limit then the full cost will be taxable on the employee. In that case do get in touch so we can advise you how best to deal with them.

Internet link: HMRC guidance

Simpler health and safety guidance

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched an online ‘Health and Safety Toolbox’ aimed at smaller, low-risk businesses. It is hoped that the Toolbox, which can be accessed from the right hand side of the HSE’s home page, will make it quicker and easier for small businesses to find the information that applies to their industry. This should enable them to manage health and safety issues themselves, without the need to use health and safety consultants.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban said:

‘Small and low risk businesses should be focusing their time on growing and becoming a success not having to waste precious time and money on unnecessary bureaucracy. This Toolbox will make it quick and simple for businesses to discover everything they need to know about health and safety.’

Internet links: Press release HSE website

More flexibility in the leave available to parents

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that parents will be able to share up to 12 months leave after the birth of a child from 2015.

The plans will allow working parents to take up to 52 weeks off in total either together or in separate blocks and will be more flexible than the current system.

Nick Clegg said:

‘Reform is long overdue and the changes we are making will shatter the perception that women have to be the primary care-givers.’

‘In the future, both mothers and fathers will be able to take control of how they balance those precious first months with their child and their careers.’

Internet link: BIS top stories

Payroll RTI system ‘unrealistic’

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has warned that the RTI reporting system will be ‘at best unrealistic and at worst impossible’ for small employers. This is despite HMRC publishing proposals explaining when employers will be allowed up to an extra seven days to send some information to HMRC.

Frank Haskew, head of ICAEW Tax Faculty, said:

‘We are particularly concerned about the impact this will have on smaller businesses, which are the lifeblood of the UK economy and essential if the UK is to continue to grow.’

Under the RTI, employers will have to submit payroll information to HMRC electronically on or before every payday, with potential penalties applying to employers submitting returns late.

The ICAEW suggestion is that HMRC move the RTI return date to the 19th of the month following the tax month of payment, which is the same as the current PAYE due date, being familiar to employers.

RTI is compulsory for most employers from April 2013.

We will keep you informed of developments.

Internet link: ICAEW press release

Improving gender diversity in boardrooms

The CBI commented on proposals from the European Commission, aimed at achieving a better gender balance in the boardrooms of some European companies. The proposals apply to companies listed on stock exchanges in EU’s Member States.

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:

‘Businesses will be relieved that the Commission has listened to their concerns. These new proposals rightly focus on the need to improve boardroom diversity, while allowing firms to recruit the best candidates from the widest possible talent pool. MEPs should get behind this approach.’

‘Increasing the number of women in boardrooms is important for businesses, who know that gender diversity brings greater creativity, higher performance and better customer insight. That is why firms are already taking action to increase the flow of women to the top, such as targeting mentoring schemes at women and offering flexible working.’

Internet links: CBI press release Europa press release

Proposal to remove red tape on building extensions

The government has announced proposals to make it quicker and cheaper to make improvements to homes and business premises.

The proposals would mean that, for a limited period, much of the red tape required to complete a planning application for a small-scale, single-story extension would be removed. It has been confirmed that the current safeguards that ensure neighbours and communities are not adversely affected will remain in force. The proposals will also not apply to protected areas or listed buildings.

Internet link: News