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Local Authority round-up 30/09/22

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.

Commercial

Chancellor announces new Growth Plan

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng announced his new Growth Plan on 23 September, which aimed to tackle rising energy costs and bring down inflation in order to provide support for businesses and households. Some of the measures he announced included that the:

  • Corporation tax rise was cancelled – this will now remain at 19% instead of the proposed 20%
  • 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance contributions will be reversed
  • Annual Investment Allowance will remain at £1 million permanently, rather than letting it return to £200,000 in March 2023
  • Basic rate of income tax will be cut to 19% in April 2023 (one year earlier than planned) and the additional rate of tax, taking effect from April 2023 will be abolished
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax will be cut so that no stamp duty will be paid on purchases up to £250,000 and first time buyers will now pay no stamp duty on purchases up to £425,000
  • Alcohol duty will be frozen for a further year and reforms to modernise alcohol duties will also be taken forward and the government will publish a consultation on these plans

For more information please click here.

Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill

On 22 September 2022, the Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill 2022-23 was introduced and received its first reading in the House of Commons. All remaining Bill stages are scheduled for 11 October 2022, with expedited parliamentary progress requested so that the legislation is in place in time for employers to make required changes to payroll systems to implement some of the Bill’s measures. The Bill provides for the repeal of the Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021 (HSCL Act 2021), which was due to come into force from 6 April 2023, and reverses (from 6 November 2022) the temporary 1.25% increase in the rates of some National Insurance contributions that took effect from 6 April 2022 (temporary NICs increase). The increase in income tax rates for dividends that accompanied the temporary NICs increase is also to be reversed, from the later date of April 2023. The Bill adopts two approaches for reversing the temporary NICs increase and includes a regulation-making power to make such consequential provisions as HM Treasury considers appropriate, which may be retrospective and to primary legislation. For primary and secondary Class 1 contributions (other than in respect of directors), the Bill provides for the continued application of relevant provisions of the HSCL Act 2021 (which had increased some NICs rates) to earnings payments made before 6 November 2022. A similar approach is taken to the reduced rate for married women and widows, including directors electing to pay those reduced rates. For the following (including the annual maximums), a blended rate instead applies that, in the case of the self-employed, the explanatory notes states avoids the need for apportionment of profits mid-way through the tax year:

  • Class 4 contributions (main and additional rates will become 9.73% and 2.73%, respectively).
  • Class 1A contributions (other than in respect of some sporting testimonial payments and some termination awards, both of which are assessed at the time of payment) and Class 1B contributions (both 14.53%)
  • For Directors, the secondary Class 1 rates will also become 14.53% and the primary rates will become 12.73% and 2.73%.

For more information please click here.


Regulatory

Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill 2022 published

On 22 September 2022, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill 2022 was published. The Bill is effectively the second part of a legislative package to prevent the abuse of UK corporate structures and tackle economic crime. It follows on from the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, which received Royal Assent on 15 March 2022. In brief, the Bill:

  • Broadens the Registrar’s powers so that the Registrar becomes a more active gatekeeper over company creation and custodian of more reliable data concerning companies and other UK registered entities such as LLPs and LPs, including new powers to check, remove and decline information submitted to, or already on, the register.
  • Introduces identity verification requirements for all new and existing registered company directors, People with Significant Control, and those delivering documents to the Registrar.
  • Provides the Registrar with more effective investigation and enforcement powers and introduces better cross-checking of data with other public and private sector bodies.
  • Tackles the abuse of limited partnerships (including Scottish limited partnerships), by strengthening transparency requirements and enabling them to be deregistered.
  • Creates powers to quickly and more easily seize and recover cryptoassets, which are the principal medium used for ransomware.
  • Creates new exemptions from the principal money laundering offences to reduce unnecessary reporting by businesses carrying out transactions on behalf of their customers and giving new powers for law enforcement to obtain information to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Enables businesses in certain sectors to share information more effectively to prevent and detect economic crime.
  • Removes the statutory fining limit to allow the Solicitors Regulation Authority to set its own limits on financial penalties imposed for economic crime disciplinary matters.

For more information please click here.


International Trade

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-23 introduced to House of Commons

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-23 was introduced to the House of Commons on 22 September 2022. This Bill makes provision for significant changes to the current status and operation of retained EU law, including through amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA). It includes provisions to:

  • Sunset retained EU law. Retained EU law in EU-derived secondary legislation and retained direct EU legislation will expire on 31 December 2023 unless otherwise preserved. Special features of EU law will be removed from retained EU law that remains in force after that date (assimilated law), ending the principle of the supremacy of EU law, general principles of EU law and directly effective EU rights on 31 December 2023. EU interpretive features will no longer apply to assimilated law. The sunset date can be extended until 2026 for specified pieces of legislation.
  • Reverse the priority currently given to retained direct EU legislation over domestic UK legislation passed before the end of the transition period when they are incompatible, with a power to amend the new order of priority to retain specific legislative effects where necessary in specific circumstances.
  • Give domestic courts greater discretion to depart from retained EU case law, and provide new court procedures for UK and devolved law officers to refer or intervene in cases involving retained EU case law.
  • Downgrade the status of retained direct principal EU legislation for amendment purposes so that it no longer has parity with Acts of Parliament.
  • Give the government powers to make secondary legislation so that retained EU law or assimilated law can be amended, repealed and replaced more easily, and enable the government (via Parliament) to clarify, consolidate and restate legislation to preserve its current effect.

For more information please click here.


Upcoming webinars

The Autumn employment law update

Ward Hadaway’s employment law update is back this Autumn and taking place online via Zoom on Wednesday 19th October at 10am. Our panel of experts will ensure your team is kept in the loop, covering recent and upcoming updates in legislation, case law and pending Tribunal decisions, focusing throughout on the practical points of what this means for employers and HR teams. You will be able to ask your own questions in advance via the registration form, or you can use the Q&A feature in Zoom on the day.

For more information or to book your place please click here.

Right to work checks – keeping you up to date on recent developments

Many changes to right to work (RTW) checks came in to effect on 6 April 2022 and have now had time to bed in. Ward Hadaway are therefore pleased to invite you to a free webinar at which we will remind you of those changes, and highlight developments since our right to work webinar in March this year. This short webinar will take place on Zoom on 20th October at 10am.

For more information or to book your place please click here.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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