NI cuts are good news

Chancellor George Osborne’s 2013 Budget has been welcomed by British Marine Federation chiefs who say that slashing the National Insurance ’employment tax’, worth £2,000 a time, will help small boat builders hire more staff even though the scheme won’t kick-off until next spring.
The government-backed Business Bank, which will deploy £1 billion of new capital to improve access to finance, will launch a dedicated £300 million initiative to help diversify and expand the supply of lending to SMEs and mid-sized businesses. Meanwhile, the devolution of significant funding to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), in response to Lord Heseltine’s review, could also tackle some of the barriers to investment that hold back marine businesses in specific regions, a BMF spokesman said.

Beyond business financing measures, the launch of a second phase of “Red Tape Challenge” has particular relevance for BMF members. In particular, the announcement to reduce regulatory burdens and costs in such areas as Boat Masters’ Licences, Large Yachts and the regulation of commercial vessel used for sport or pleasure and of small workboats was welcomed.

The Government is also introducing a new system to speed up the implementation of international maritime agreements into UK law, expected to provide a more stable business environment.

Howard Pridding, Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation, said:
‘The BMF welcomes the initiatives detailed in the Budget to help our members access the finance they need to grow their businesses. The difficulties in negotiating banks’ stringent lending criteria have been prohibitive for many organisations within the industry and we hope the Business Bank and Local Enterprise Partnerships will bring investment opportunities.

‘We also look forward to further detail on the employment allowance initiative. This could prove to be a real boost to small and medium sized businesses which make up the backbone of our industry.’