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Budget 2014: Cost of employment needs to come down...

... to support businesses in the battle for talent

In response to the Chancellor's Budget announcement, Amanda Flint, Employer Solutions Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, comments on the implications of the Budget 2014 for attracting and nurturing talent in UK plc:

 "As we highlighted previously in our 'Agents for growth' report, one of the biggest burdens for businesses is complying with employment taxes. It's disappointing nothing was mentioned in today's Budget to progress the integration of income tax and National Insurance Contributions.

 "Employment levels are up and employers are facing challenges in attracting high quality employees but if they were looking to the Budget for support, there would be little comfort.  There is support for childcare costs – but the £2,000 available turned out to be 20% of costs capped at £10,000. Given the high costs of childcare this will have little impact. More flexibility on pensions and the ISA changes give more choices in saving and retirement and employers may want to re-visit their benefit packages.  100,000 additional apprentice placements are welcome – especially as an impetus to get young people into the workforce.  It is disappointing that it only extends to smaller employers and not a consideration  across the mid-size market , who are a key driver for growth in the UK as demonstrated in our Agents for Growth research. And a National Insurance Contributions exemption for apprentices would have been a welcome additional encouragement for employers!"

 "Innovation is the lifeblood of British business and employers are in a constant battle to source highly trained employees.  More support for developing skilled employees in the form of support for post-graduate studies and the establishment of Doctoral Training centres is welcome.  But Government needs to take the lead from business and not the other way round."