The UK’s next budget has been announced for the 6th November, will Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer respond to calls to broaden the apprenticeship levy, to allow employers to be able to spend their levy funds more flexibly.
A coalition comprising of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) and other bodies wrote to Mr Javid asking him to broaden the apprenticeship levy and to use the 4th September 2019 spending review to implement these changes. As this request fell on deaf ears, the budget gives Mr Javid another opportunity to react to this request.
Whilst Mr Javid was campaigning to be the leader of the Conservative Party he wrote in the Financial Times:
I will broaden the apprenticeship levy into a wider skills levy, giving employers the flexibility they need to train their workforce, while ensuring they continue to back apprenticeships.
Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said:
The apprenticeship levy is too inflexible and fails to encourage or create the best opportunities for employers to invest in the skills they need to boost the UK’s productivity and competitiveness. Our research shows employers want a more flexible training levy that supports investment in apprenticeships, as well as other equally important forms of workplace training and development.
However, if a no-deal Brexit occurs then the budget will be pushed back for at least a few weeks.
Sajid Javid, chancellor of the exchequer said:
This will be the first Budget after leaving the EU. I will be setting out our plan to shape the economy for the future and triggering the start of our infrastructure revolution.
This is the right and responsible thing to do – we must get on with governing.
The budget date is usually announced in September, however, this one has come in October. The Government tends to give the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the Government’s independent financial watchdog, and which produces economic forecasts for the Budget 10 weeks notice to prepare for it.
If a Brexit deal is struck with the European Union (EU), the budget will be announced within less than a week of the UK leaving the EU.
While outlining his spending review in the Commons on 4 September 2019, Mr Javid’s proposals for the 2020-21 financial year were:
- A 6.3 per cent real term increase in Home Office spending – the “biggest increase” in 15 years
- An additional 31.5 billion for England’s councils to bolster social care
- A £6.2 per cent rise in funding for the Minister of Defence
- A 13 per cent increase in funding to tackle homelessness, taking spending to £422 million
- An extra £1.2 billion for Scotland, £600 million for Wales and £400 million for Northern Ireland.