The Government’s plans for the new parliamentary session were outlined last month in the Queen’s Speech. Proposals of interest to businesses included those around national insurance contributions, patents and deregulation:
- Employment allowance: under the National Insurance Contributions Bill, businesses and charities will be entitled to a £2,000 allowance towards their employer national insurance contributions (NICs) costs. The same bill will also prevent businesses from using offshore companies to avoid paying NICs
- High speed rail links: plans for the Government to build a new high speed rail link between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds
- Patents: the Intellectual Property Bill will streamline patent and design protection laws, allowing a single patent application to be valid in almost all EU countries and introduce criminal penalties for those who breach design rules
- Water suppliers: Businesses, charities and public-sector customers will be able to switch their water supplier under the Water Bill in order to increase competition
- Consumer rights: Under the Draft Consumer Rights Bill, Trading Standards will be given new powers to order traders to pay compensation when a consumer law is breached
- Deregulation: The Draft Deregulation Bill will continue to reduce red-tape for businesses, including minimising health-and-safety regulations.
Talk to us if you think you or your business may be affected be any of the new Bills.