Archive for August, 2014

HMRC business record checks

Friday, August 29th, 2014

According to insurers PFP, HMRC business record checks are on the increase.

 In the tax year 2013/14 HMRC checked 5,515 sets of business records compared to just 3,431 checks in 2011/12, an increase of 60%. Interestingly, of the records checked 73% were found to have no significant errors.

Since November 2012, HMRC have adopted a fresh approach to their business record check visits. On the HMRC website we are advised:

“Customers who are more likely to be at risk of having inadequate records will be contacted by letter to arrange for HMRC to call them to go through a short questionnaire.

Depending on the outcome of this call, HMRC will confirm to some customers that no further action is required. Where some issues are identified, customers will be offered targeted self-help education options. Customers who are assessed as being at risk of keeping inadequate records will be referred for a BRC visit.”

The reasoning behind the record check initiative is to find businesses that are submitting tax returns based on inadequate information. If you record keeping is poor, then your tax return is likely to be inaccurate.

If you are required to have a visit from HMRC to check out your record keeping this is what HMRC advise you can expect:

If we feel you need a face to face visit, HMRC will contact you to agree a date and time. The visit will usually take around two hours.

On the visit the HMRC officer will:

  • ask you to explain how you run your business
  • note how you keep your business records
  • check a sample of your current business records – usually your records for the last four months and arrive at a decision as to whether your business records are adequate or not

If your records are adequate the visiting officer will tell you at the visit and then confirm it in writing a few days later. This will be the end of your business records check.

If the visiting officer finds your record keeping needs improving they will discuss this with you and your agent, if they are at the meeting. The officer will then advise what you need to do to make your records adequate and what will happen next.

We are happy to provide readers who are concerned about their business records with a preliminary assessment, and if required, advice on how to change their systems.

Employment Allowance uptake

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Data released by HM Treasury at the end of July reveals that 725,000 employers across the UK are benefitting from the Employment Allowance.

The allowance reduces the amount of employer National Insurance by up to £2,000 in a full tax year. The deduction is automatically made by most payroll software products including HMRC’s online service.

It is estimated that up to 1.25 million businesses and charities will benefit from the Employment Allowance and approximately 450,000 employers won’t have to pay any employer National Insurance contributions at all.

Viewed regionally, the take up for the allowance seems to highlight variations in economic activity across the regions. Almost 30% of the claims made are by businesses in London and the South East of England. This is underlines the difficulty that government must be experiencing in directing the monetary value of these reliefs into the regions that are in most need of support. At present thriving businesses in greater London and the south east are benefitting from a further stimulus that poorer areas of the UK do not seem to be experiencing.

50% off qualifying capital purchases

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

The Finance Act 2014 introduced a temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). From 1 April 2014 (for companies) and 6 April 2014 for the self-employed, the ability to write off qualifying capital purchases against your profits for tax purposes increased to £500,000.

This generous tax allowance will reduce to £25,000 on 1 January 2016. Any business that needs to invest in new plant or equipment should time their expenditure to make the most of this increase in the AIA.

How much is this worth?

Depends on the type of business structure you have created to manage your business. If you are self-employed (a sole trader or in partnership) you will pay income tax on your profits. The AIA allows you to deduct the full cost of qualifying capital acquisitions from your profits. For example, if you purchased plant for £100,000 and made taxable profits of £300,000 as a sole trader, you could deduct the full cost of the plant from your profits. At this level of profitability you would possibly be paying income tax at 50% so your £100,000 investment would actually cost you £50,000. Self-employed traders paying income tax at 20% or 40%, or companies paying corporation tax at 20% would save tax at proportionately lower rates.

This is not an opportunity to miss. As always planning is critical in order that any tax benefit is maximised.

Entrepreneurs get greater freedom to start a business from their home

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Budding entrepreneurs will be given greater freedom to start and grow a business from their home under new measures announced by the government on 15 August 2014.

Around 70% of new businesses start off in the home, and they contribute £300 billion to the economy. As part of its long-term economic plan to back businesses, the government wants to make it much easier for people thinking of starting a home business to do so with the law firmly on their side.

The new measures announced include:

  • The law will be changed so that landlords can be assured that agreeing to home working by tenants will not undermine their residential tenancy agreement. A new model tenancy agreement will also be made available shortly;
  • updated planning guidance will make it clear that planning permission should not normally be needed to run a business from your home; and
  • new business rates guidance will clarify that in the majority of circumstances home based businesses will not attract business rates.

The Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced the package at the first ever Home Business Summit, organised by the small business network Enterprise Nation, at the Enterprise Wing of Somerset House in London.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said:

“There’s never been a better time to start a business, and even more people are choosing to start up from home.

It’s this spirit of personal endeavour and self-determination that is driving our economic recovery. But home businesses don’t just fire up the economic engines and create jobs, they turn dormitory towns into living communities, they keep our streets safer, and by driving down car emissions, cleaner too.

We know that starting up any business can also be hugely stressful and that’s why today I am announcing that the government will change the law to make life easier for Britain’s home businesses. We’ll give people the confidence they need to run a business from a rented home, making sure that the majority of home businesses are exempt from business rates and our aspiring entrepreneurs have the information they need to start up and grow.”

Interesting statistics:

  1. There are already 2.9 million businesses being run from entrepreneurs’ homes.
  2. Home based businesses contribute £300 billion in annual turnover to the UK economy.
  3. If 1 in 10 home businesses took on just 1 extra employee it would create 300,000 jobs.

On the face of it home based businesses can take encouragement from these announcements. Let’s hope that these will be the first of a number of initiatives to encourage entrepreneurs to take the plunge.

Transfer tax allowances to your spouse

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The Finance Act 2014 has introduced limited flexibility for married couples, or couples in a civil partnership, to transfer a part of their personal allowance to their partner.

The amounts involved are not substantial and there are a number of conditions that must be met. These include:

  1. The spouse receiving the transferred allowance must not be a higher rate tax payer.
  2. The receiving spouse must be resident in the UK for tax purposes.
  3. The amount of the allowance that can be transferred is limited to £1,050 for 2015-16, and 10% of the personal allowance in subsequent years.
  4. Neither spouse must be eligible to claim the Married Couple’s Allowance (MCA). This only affects couples where one spouse was born before 5 April 1935.

From a tax planning point of view this will benefit couples where one partner does not earn sufficient income to utilise all of their personal tax allowance, and the other partner is paying tax at no more than the basic rate.

The existing MCA will continue to be available to elderly couples that qualify.

If you were married before 5 December 2005 and at least one spouse was born before 6 April 1935, the husband can claim Married Couple's Allowance. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) reduces your tax bill by 10% of the Married Couple's Allowance to which you're entitled. The actual amount depends on the husband's income.

If you married on or after 5 December 2005 or are in a civil partnership and living together and at least one spouse or partner was born before 6 April 1935, the person with the higher income can claim Married Couple's Allowance.

HMRC reduce the claimant's tax bill by 10% of the Married Couple's Allowance to which he or she is entitled. The actual amount depends on the income of the spouse or civil partner with the higher income.

If one of you dies, or if you divorce or separate, you'll still get Married Couple's Allowance for the whole of that tax year.

Car clubs get cash boost from Department of Transport

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Car clubs are set to receive a £500,000 boost to drive forward their work, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced.

As part of a wider visit to Norfolk, 28 July 2014, the minister announced that the Department for Transport will provide the funding to support two pilot programmes which will promote much wider access to car clubs.

Baroness Kramer said:

“Car clubs cut congestion, reduce carbon and save people money while still giving people the freedom and flexibility to use a car when they want to. Interest in car clubs is already gathering pace and we want to give that interest added momentum.

This funding will highlight their many advantages to even more people and help take car clubs up a gear.

The proportion of carless households has been growing across the country since 2005. At the same time, because people value the convenience that access to a car brings, interest in car clubs is growing.

There are already over 150,000 car club members in England and government is keen to support their growth.

They make much more efficient use of the limited space available on the road, with estimates suggesting that one rental car can take the place of 17 individually owned vehicles.

Car clubs can also help save drivers money – potentially thousands of pounds per year.

The evidence suggests that pay-as-you-go car use encourages people to walk and cycle more often and make more frequent use of public transport, and car club vehicles tend to have lower emissions than the average car.”

Statutory Residence Test

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The concept of residence in the United Kingdom is fundamental to the determination of UK tax liability for any individual. For over 200 years the term ‘residence’ has never been defined in our tax laws and the issue of interpretation in any situation has been dependent upon considering case law and HMRC practice. From 6 April 2013 a Statutory Residence Test (SRT) has been introduced into legislation.

The SRT provides, through a series of tests, a definitive process to determine the UK residence status of any individual. That status applies for income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax purposes.

Once that status has been established then other rules determine the extent of an individual’s liability to UK taxes. These other rules may include not just UK statute but also double tax treaties with other countries. These rules are not covered in this factsheet.

 

Counting days

The SRT relies heavily on the concept of counting ‘days of presence’ in the UK in the relevant tax year and so it is important to understand what this term means. The basic rule is a day of presence is one where the individual was in the country at midnight. There are two exceptions to this:

the individual only arrives as a passenger on that day and leaves the UK the next day and in between does not engage in activities that are to a substantial extent unrelated to their passage through the UK and

the individual would not be present in the UK at the end of the day but for exceptional circumstances beyond their control which prevent them from leaving and they would intend to leave as soon as those circumstances permit.

A further rule applies where an individual has been resident in the UK in at least one of the three previous tax years and has at least three ‘ties’ with the UK.  It will be then be necessary to add to the total of ‘midnight days’ the excess over 30 of any other days where the individual spent any time at all in the UK.

 

Three tests

The SRT is based on a series of three tests which must be considered in a particular order in every case. The tests are applied to the facts in the ‘relevant tax year’ i.e. the year for which residence status is being determined:

first consider the Automatic Overseas Test (AOT). If this test is satisfied the individual will be not resident in the UK in the relevant tax year and no further tests are required. If the AOT is not satisfied then move on to

the Automatic Residence Test (ART). If this test is satisfied the individual will be resident in the UK in the relevant tax year and no further tests are required. If the test is not satisfied move on to

the Sufficient Ties Test (STT). If this test is satisfied the individual will be resident in the UK and if it is not satisfied they will be not resident.

The detailed conditions relating to each test are discussed below. There are further tests which only apply if the individual has died in the year but these are not dealt with here.

 

The Automatic Overseas Test (AOT)

There are three possible tests in the AOT and if an individual satisfies any one of these they will be not resident in the UK in the relevant tax year. The conditions are that the individual:

was resident in the UK in one or more of the previous three tax years and they are present in the UK for fewer than 16 days in the relevant tax year

was not resident in the UK in all of the previous three tax years and they are present in the UK for fewer than 46 days in the relevant tax year

works full time abroad for at least a complete tax year and they are present in the UK for fewer than 91 days in the relevant tax year and no more than 30 days are spent working (currently defined as more than 3 hours) in the UK in the tax year.

The first two tests are simply based on a day count and ignore the existence of other factors such as other links with the UK like the availability of accommodation in the UK.

There are conditions for the third test which need to be considered by those planning to go abroad to work either as an employee or on a self-employed basis. Obviously the days of presence and the working days must be considered carefully. In addition it should be noted that:

full time work is defined as an average of 35 hours a week over the whole period of absence. Account can be taken of a range of factors such as holidays and sick leave to effectively improve the average

working days in the UK do not have to be the same as the days of presence so a day where there is UK work and the individual leaves the UK before the end of the day may well count as a working day

HMRC will expect evidence to be provided if it is claimed that the time limit for a working day has not been exceeded.

The way in which the subsequent tests are structured mean that it is really important that a working expatriate can pass the AOT and be treated as not resident otherwise they are likely to find a real problem under the later tests.

 

The Automatic Residence Test (ART)

If the AOT is not met then the individual must next consider the conditions of the ART. This test will be satisfied if any of the following apply to the individual for the relevant tax year:

they are present in the UK for 183 days or more in a tax year

they have a home in the UK and they are present in that home on at least 30 separate days in the relevant year. There must be a period of at least 91 consecutive days during which the home is available and at least 30 of those days must fall within the relevant tax year

they carry out full time work in the UK for a period of 365 days during which at least 75% of their time is spent in the UK.

The ‘home’ test may be of real significance because, if that test applies, the number of days in the UK is irrelevant. The legislation makes clear that a home can be a building or part of a building and can include a vessel or vehicle. It must have a degree of permanence or stability to count as a home but specific circumstances may have to be considered. If the individual also has a home abroad, the second test above will not apply if the person spends more than 30 days at the home abroad in the tax year.

 

The Sufficient Ties Test

If no conclusive answer to residence status has arisen under the first two tests, the individual must then look at how the STT applies to them for the relevant tax year. The test will be satisfied if the individual has sufficient UK ties for that year. This will depend on two basic conditions:

whether the individual was resident in the UK for any of the previous three tax years and

the number of days the individual spends in the UK in the relevant tax year.

The STT reflects the principle that the more time someone spends in the UK, the fewer connections they can have with the UK if they want to be not resident. It also incorporates the principle that residence status should adhere more to those who are already resident than to those who are not currently resident.

Under the STT an individual compares the number of days of presence in the UK against five connection factors. Individuals who know how many days they spend in the UK and how many relevant connection factors they have can then assess whether they are resident.

The five ties are summarily set out as:

a family tie – this will apply if either a spouse or minor child is resident in the UK in the relevant tax year

an accommodation tie – where there is accommodation which is available for at least 91 days in the tax year and is actually used at least once

a work tie – where there are at least 40 working days of three hours or more in the UK in the relevant tax year

a 90-day tie – more than 90 days were spent in the UK in either or both of the two immediately preceding UK tax years and

a country tie – more time is spent in the UK than in any other single country in the relevant tax year.

An individual who has been resident in the UK in any of the three preceding tax years must consider all five ties and they will be resident if any of the following apply:

 

Days in UK

Number of ties sufficient to establish residence

16 – 45

at least 4

46 – 90

at least 3

91 – 120

at least 2

121 – 182

at least 1

 

An individual who has not been resident in any of the three preceding years must consider all the ties apart from the country tie and they will be resident in any of the following situations:

 

Days in UK

Number of ties sufficient to establish residence

46 – 90

all 4

91 – 120

at least 3

121 – 182

at least 2

 

Special rules for international transport workers

The SRT rules are adapted where an individual is an ‘international transport worker’ This is defined as someone who:

holds an employment, the duties of which consist of duties to be performed on board a vehicle, aircraft or ship, while it is travelling or

carries on a trade, the activities of which consist of the provision of services on board a vehicle, aircraft or ship as it is travelling.

In either case substantially all the journeys must be across international boundaries. The individual has to be present on board the respective carrier as it makes international journeys in order to provide those services.

An individual who has some duties on purely domestic journeys will still be regarded as within the definition if the international duties are substantial (probably at least 80%).

Where an individual falls within this group the implications for the SRT are (broadly) that the individual:

cannot be non-UK resident on the grounds of working full time overseas

cannot be UK resident on the grounds of working full time in the UK and

in considering the work day tie for the STT an international transport worker is regarded as doing more than three hours work where any journey that day commences in the UK and fewer than three hours on any other day.

 

Split year rules

The basic rule will be that if an individual satisfies the conditions of the SRT to be treated as resident for a part of the UK tax year then they are resident for the whole of that year. Special rules will apply in certain circumstances to allow a year of arrival or departure to be split into resident and not resident parts as appropriate. We shall be pleased to discuss whether your plans or circumstances will be eligible for such treatment.

 

Anti-avoidance rules

The government wants to ensure that individuals are not able to exploit the rules to become not resident for a short period during which they receive certain types of income or make capital gains. Basically an individual with a history of at least four out of the previous seven years as a sole UK resident will need to maintain not resident status for at least five UK tax years otherwise certain income and all capital gains made in the period of absence will become taxable in the UK in the next year in which they are resident.

 

How we can help

A change of tax residence is always a major decision and detailed advice is necessary. Please bear in mind that whatever your UK residence status may have been in 2012/13, there is no automatic assumption that it will continue in future years. The facts will have to be separately considered each tax year and the changes in 2013/14 means that great care must be taken in that and subsequent years.

Please do contact us for any advice you may need.

When should you contact HMRC?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

A cynic might say that you are required to contact HMRC when you are likely to owe them more money. Realistically, the opposite is also true: you should advise HMRC of any changes that could reduce your tax position.

 The following notes are extracted from HMRC’s website and set out their requirements. You'll need to tell HMRC if you:

  • get married or form a civil partnership
  • start getting a second income
  • become – or stop being – self-employed
  • start or stop getting company benefits – like a company car or medical insurance
  • start getting taxable benefits

You'll also have to let HMRC know if other income that you get – like savings or rental income – increases or reduces.

All these things and more can affect the amount of Income Tax that you have to pay.

Marriage or civil partnership where one partner was born before 6 April 1935

Tell HMRC if you get married or form a civil partnership and at least one partner was born before 6 April 1935 – you may be eligible for the Married Couple's Allowance if you pay tax.

If you get divorced or your civil partnership dissolves or you separate and you were getting the Married Couple's Allowance you will no longer be eligible so you need to let HMRC know.

Death of a spouse or civil partner

If your husband, wife or civil partner dies you need to contact HMRC if either of the following applies:

  • you are claiming Married Couple's Allowance
  • either of you claims Blind Person's Allowance and some or all of this was transferred to the other spouse or civil partner

Starting/stopping self-employment

You must tell HMRC that you're self-employed as soon as possible – even if you already fill in a tax return each year. If you don't tell them as soon as you begin self- employment you may have to pay an initial penalty.

Starting/stopping to receive company benefits

If you start to get taxable company benefits you should tell HMRC right away so that you don't get a large tax bill at the end of the year. Employers don't have to tell HMRC about any company benefits you get until the end of the tax year, unless it's a company car. HMRC will adjust your code number and start collecting all or some of the extra tax sooner. If you get a company car or change your company car, you only need to report the details to HMRC once you have the use of the car.

You should also tell HMRC if you stop getting taxable company benefits. They can change your tax code and make sure you don't pay too much tax.

Starting/stopping state benefits

If you start or stop getting state benefits it may affect your tax bill. The sooner you get in touch with HMRC, the sooner they can adjust your tax code to make sure you always pay what's due.

Reporting changes to your income

Changes in the level of certain types of income you receive needs to be communicated so that you don’t under or over pay tax.

And finally, if you change address

If you change address it's important to let HMRC know – even if you pay some or all of your tax through PAYE and have already told your employer or pension provider. Under the Data Protection Act they can't pass on your new address to HMRC.

Property Investment – Buy to Let

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

In recent years, the stock market has had its ups and downs. Add to this the serious loss of public confidence in pension funds as a means of saving for the future and it is not surprising that investors have looked elsewhere.

The UK property market, whilst cyclical, has proved over the long-term to be a very successful investment. This has resulted in a massive expansion in the buy to let sector.

Buy to let involves investing in property with the expectation of capital growth with the rental income from tenants covering the mortgage costs and any outgoings.

However, the gross return from buy to let properties – ie the rent received less costs such as letting fees, maintenance, service charges and insurance – is no longer as attractive as it once was. Investors need to take a view on the likelihood of capital appreciation exceeding inflation.

 

Factors to consider

Do         – think of your investment as medium to long-term

              – research the local market

              – do your sums carefully

              – consider decorating to a high standard to attract tenants quickly.

Don’t     – purchase anything with serious maintenance problems

              – think that friends and relatives can look after the letting for you – you’re                                     probably better off with a full management service

              – cut corners with tenancy agreements and other legal documentation.

Which property?

Investing in a buy to let property is not the same as buying your own home. You may wish to get an agent to advise you of the local market for rented property. Is there a demand for say, two bedroom flats or four bedroom houses or properties close to schools or transport links? An agent will also be able to advise you of the standard of decoration and furnishings which are expected to get a quick let.

 

Agents

Letting property can be very time consuming and inconvenient. Tenants will expect a quick solution if the central heating breaks down over the bank holiday weekend! Also do you want to advertise the property yourself and show around prospective tenants? An agent will be able to deal with all of this for you.

 

Tenancy agreements

This important document will ensure that the legal position is clear.

 

Taxation

When buying to let, taxation aspects must be considered.

 

Tax on rental income

Income tax will be payable on the rents received after deducting allowable expenses. Allowable expenses include mortgage interest, repairs, agent’s letting fees and an allowance for furnishings.

 

Tax on sale

Capital gains tax (CGT) will be payable on the eventual sale of the property. The tax will be charged on the disposal proceeds less the original cost of the property, certain legal costs and any capital improvements made to the property. This gain may be further reduced by any annual exemption available and is then taxed at either 18% or 28% or a combination of the two rates. CGT is payable on 31 January after the end of the tax year in which the gain is made.

 

Student lettings

Buy to let may make sense if you have children at college or university. It is important that the arrangement is structured correctly. The student should purchase the property (with the parent acting as guarantor on the mortgage). There are several advantages to this arrangement.

Advantages

This is a cost effective way of providing your child with somewhere decent to live.

Rental income on letting spare rooms to other students should be sufficient to cover the mortgage repayments from a cash flow perspective.

As long as the property is the child’s only property it should be exempt from CGT on its eventual sale as it will be regarded as their main residence.

The amount of rental income chargeable to income tax is reduced by a deduction known as ‘rent a room relief’.  This is £4,250 each year. In this situation no expenses are tax deductible. Alternatively expenses can be deducted from income under normal letting rules where this is more beneficial.

 

Furnished holiday lettings

Furnished holiday letting (FHL) is another type of investment that could be considered. This form of letting is short holiday lets as opposed to letting for the residential market.

The favourable tax regime for furnished holiday letting accommodation has been significantly amended. Most importantly the regime has been extended to cover qualifying property located anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). This extension is effectively backdated and means that it may be possible to claim the benefits of FHL treatment of losses and capital gains in UK tax years within the normal four year time limit.

The conditions necessary to qualify for FHL treatment have been amended from 6 April 2012. From that date the property will have to be available for letting for at least 210 days in each tax year and must actually be let for 105 days.  Provided that there is a genuine intention to meet the actual letting requirement it will be possible to make an election to keep the property as qualifying for up to two years even though the condition may not be satisfied in those years. This will be particularly important to preserve the special CGT treatment of any gain as qualifying for the lower CGT rate of 10% where the conditions for Entrepreneurs’ Relief are satisfied.

One area of previous benefit which has now gone is that losses arising in an FHL business can no longer be set against other income of the taxpayer. This change applies for the 2011/12 tax year onwards. It also becomes necessary to segregate losses into UK losses and EEA losses. Each can only be offset against profits of the same or future years in each relevant sector.

FHL property has some advantages but it has other disadvantages which should also be considered.

Advantages

You will be able to take a holiday in your own property, or make it available some of the time to your family or friends. However, care would need to be taken to adjust the level of expenses claimed to reflect this private use.

Generally however the rules for allowable expenditure are more generous.

Disadvantages

Holiday letting will have higher agent’s fees, advertising costs, and maintenance fees (for example more regular cleaning).

Owning a holiday property may be more time consuming than you think and you may find yourself spending your precious holiday sorting out problems.

If you would like any further advice in this area please get in touch.

 

How we can help

Whilst some generalisations can be made about buy to let properties it is always necessary to tailor any advice to your personal situation. Any plan must take into account your circumstances and aspirations.

Whilst a successful buy to let cannot be guaranteed, professional advice can help to sort out some of the potential problems and structure the investment correctly.

We would be happy to discuss buy to let further with you. Please contact us for more detailed advice.

UK economy recovers

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Its official, in the second quarter April – June 2014 the UK gross domestic product grew by 0.8% and is now bigger than it was before the financial crisis that began six years ago.

The state of the economy always attracts politically biased commentary, but reading between the lines it would appear that we are making steady progress.

Interestingly, most of the growth in the second quarter came from the services sector. In the same period the agricultural sector fell by 0.2% with a similar reduction in the construction sector.

These internal differences in the rate of growth, or lack of it, mirror expectations for the global economy. The current conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the Gaza strip and Syria continue to destabilise economic activity.

Overall the IMF has reduced its growth forecast for the global economy from 3.7% to 3.4%.

The largest upgrade in expectations is for the UK. The IMF now considers that our economy will grow by 3.2% (previous forecast was 2.8%) during 2014.

George Osborne has commented:

"Thanks to the hard work of the British people, today we reach a major milestone in our long term economic plan. But there is still a long way to go – the 'great recession' was one of the deepest of any major economy and cost Britain six years.

"Now we owe it to hardworking taxpayers not to repeat the mistakes of the past and instead to continue with the plan that is delivering economic security and a brighter future for all."

Be interesting to see how this increase in our national economic fortunes spills down to the British people.