4 December 2014
The Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the government will abolish the tax on apprenticeships to support businesses which take on young people.
In his autumn budget statement which he delivered to Parliament yesterday, Osborne said: "Since 2010, almost 2 million people have taken up an apprenticeship.
"The Prime Minister has set this country an ambition of 3 million apprentices in the next Parliament. So we back the businesses who employ apprentices, especially young apprentices under the age of 25.
"At the moment we charge National Insurance on businesses who employ apprentices. Today I can announce that the jobs tax on young apprentices will be abolished altogether. When a business is giving a young person a chance in life we're going to support them not tax them."
Osborne pointed out that the number of young people on unemployment benefits had halved. "Our goal is to abolish youth unemployment altogether," he said.
Adrian Ringrose, Interserve's Chief Executive said the announcement was "encouraging".
He said: "I was pleased to see the Chancellor announce the abolition of National Insurance contributions for those under 25 years of age. This is something that Interserve welcomes, as a major employer with over 50,000 staff throughout the UK, many of whom are in the 16-25 year age bracket... I believe that these measures will encourage businesses of all sizes to play a part in the upskilling of the UK's youth."
Other announcements included long term plans for infrastructure including £15 billion on roads, nearly £6 billion funding for local road improvements, and over £2.3 billion towards over 1,400 flooding and coastal erosion protection schemes.
While he also announced that stamp duty would be cut for 98% of people who pay it, some in the commercial property industry were not pleased.
Alan Watson, from commercial property agents Rapleys, said: "The commercial property industry has drawn the short straw in the autumn statement. While the residential market will benefit from substantial stamp duty reform, commercial occupiers have to content themselves with minor changes which will save them a maximum of few hundred pounds a year."