Our friends at PW Payroll Solutions have produced an analysis of the 2015 Budget.
I have picked out a few items from this and other recent HR news which you might find useful within school.
Not in The Speech
Whilst there was little in the speech that spoke directly to the education sector, the full report revealed a focus on reducing back office spending in schools. The Treasury say that the evidence is that the best performing schools focus their spending on teachers and that back office spending varies from £202 to £1,432 per pupil.
To assist schools, Government plans include providing better benchmarking data, tools for parents to access spending data and a cost comparison site for the most commonly purchased items.
The report states that between 2003 and 2013 back office spending per pupil increased by about 60% per cent in real terms.
27 million people will benefit from an increase in the personal tax-free allowance. This will increase to £10,800 next year and then rise again to £11,000 in 2017. This will lift four million of the lowest paid workers out of income tax altogether.
The Chancellor also confirmed an increase in the threshold at which people pay the higher tax rate. This will increase from £42,385 to £43,300 by 2017-18, above the rate of inflation.
National Minimum Wage
The Low Pay Commission has recommended that the adult national minimum wage (NMW) rate should increase to £6.70 an hour from October 2015. If its recommendations are accepted by the government, the three per cent rise from its current level of £6.50 would be the largest real terms increase in the NMW since 2007. The commission estimates that 1.4 million low paid workers will benefit from the increase in the main rate of the NMW, paid to people aged 21 and over.
As well as its recommendation for the adult rate, the Low Pay Commission has called for:
- an increase of 3.3 per cent from £5.13 to £5.30 in the youth development rate, which applies to workers aged 18 to 20
- an increase of 2.2 per cent from £3.79 to £3.87 in the rate for 16 and 17-year-olds
- an increase of 2.6 per cent from £2.73 to £2.80 in the apprentice rate, which applies to all apprentices in the first year of an apprenticeship and to those aged 16 in any year of an apprenticeship.
Marriage Allowance Getting Closer
Married couples and civil partners can now register to receive a new tax break. The government opened online registration for the marriage allowance, which will help to save couples up to £212 a year, on 20 February. It will apply to couples where one partner does not pay income tax, either because they are not earning at all or earn below the basic rate threshold of £10,600 in the 2015-16 tax year. The marriage allowance will allow them to transfer up to £1,060 of their personal tax-free allowance to a spouse or civil partner who pays no more than the basic rate of income tax.
From April, HMRC will contact those who have registered for the allowance. People can register at any point in the tax year and receive the full benefit of the allowance.
Registering Your Charity With HMRC
Charities can now register their details online with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The digital service allows new charities to register their details with HMRC for tax purposes. It includes checks and guidance to help organisations provide the right information and supporting documentation so HMRC can confirm their tax status.
Around 15,500 new charities register with HMRC each year.
Charities & Gift Aid
In a move that will be welcomed by many, a scheme that allows charities to automatically claim gift-aid on their donations is set to be extended – from the first £5,000 they raise, to the first £8,000. Mr Osborne said that this would benefit over 6,500 smaller charities.