News Roundup Thursday 17th January 2019



VAT now 21% of HMRC’s total tax take

VAT receipts made up 21% of HMRC’s total tax income in 2017/18, according to UHY Hacker Young – up from 18% in 2008/09. This proves that the Treasury has “become increasingly reliant on VAT as a source of revenue”, the firm stated. “VAT has become a crucial component of total tax take and the Government will be keen to protect this revenue source,” said Sean Glancy, VAT partner at the firm. The total amount of VAT that is collected annually by HMRC had jumped by 60% from £78bn in 2008-09 to £125bn in 2017-18. HMRC’s total tax take increased to £594bn last year and now stands at a 30-year high. It represents 33% of GDP and ranks the UK 20 out of 36 OECD countries for highest tax burden. France tops the table at 46%.

Professional Adviser Accountancy Age Daily Mail, Page: 61

Raab planning post-Brexit tax cuts

Dominic Raab has suggested tax cuts for post-Brexit Britain in what has been widely viewed as the start of a leadership bid. He is proposing to raise the threshold for NI and introduce gradual cuts in basic income tax from 20% to 15%. He also said shareholders should have a vote on executive pay.

The Sun, Page: 2 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 4 Daily Express, Page: 5

Brussels pushes to scrap national vetoes on taxation

The EU will this week propose scrapping national vetoes on taxation by the end of 2020 with a Commission paper arguing that it was “time to reconsider […] traditional views on sovereignty”.

Financial Times, Page: 4


Value of outsourcing contracts leapt last year

Private companies were given £95bn worth of public sector contracts last year, up from £62bn awarded in 2016/17. The GMB union’s National Secretary Rehana Azam, said: “What this shows is, despite the tragic fiasco of Carillion, the Government hasn’t learned its lesson. The Conservatives are hell bent on privatisation and outsourcing our public services, regardless of the consequences.” The union has launched a campaign to mark the first anniversary of Carillion’s demise, calling for an end to outsourcing and privatisation of public services. Mike Cherry, of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “The collapse of Carillion was a watershed moment that brutally exposed the shocking ways that some big businesses treat their suppliers.”

Daily Mirror, Page: 43 The Guardian, Page: 35 Daily Mail, Page: 62 Yorkshire Post, Page: 7 The Daily Telegraph

Another senior figure leaves Patisserie Valerie

Valerie’s non-executive director James Horler resigned yesterday “in order to focus on his role as chief executive officer at another business”. His departure comes several months after boss Paul May stepped down over the “potentially fraudulent” accounting irregularities at Patisserie Holdings discovered in October.

City AM, Page: 4 The I, Page: 41 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 7


Small businesses urge late payments crackdown

The Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the Government to “radically strengthen” the prompt payment code and to name and shame repeat offenders. The FSB also wants Government contractors on all major public sector projects to ring-fence cash intended for suppliers in so-called project bank accounts. Big companies should be required to appoint a non-executive director with responsibility for supply chains. the lobby group adds. Mike Cherry, FSB chairman, said, “more must be done to ensure private, as well as public sector, supply chains pay on time.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 5

Cyber security skills platform raises $8m

A British cyber security firm headed by former GCHQ employee James Hadley has raised $8m in a Goldman Sachs-led Series A funding round. Immersive Labs builds cyber war games for technology and security professionals, to test the cyber skills of its staff. Clients aside from Goldmans include BAE Systems, Sophos and Grant Thornton.

The Independent, Page: 68 Tech Startups The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 4 Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 5


Broker launches wealth management arm

Arden Partners has launched its own wealth management firm, Arden Wealth, which will be headed by Henry Algeo, a former director of Brewin Dolphin.

Daily Mail, Page: 61


Retail industry in poor shape

The health of the retail industry continues to decline despite a late surge in Christmas spending. The latest retail health index put together by KPMG and Ipsos fell by one point to 78, close to the historic low of 76 recorded during the recession of 2012-13. Paul Martin, co-chairman of the Retail Think Tank and UK head of retail at KPMG, said that December 2018 had been “the worst in a decade”.

The Times, Page: 34


Bent bankrupt

Former Premier League striker Marcus Bent has been made bankrupt in the High Court after failing to pay HMRC “millions” in tax.

The Sun, Page: 18

Contact Paul Southward if you have any queries.

Paul Southward