Business news 7 April 2022

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Business confidence in UK construction hits 17-month low. SMEs and manufacturers lament NICs rise. Energy Strategy. Oil. And more business news.

Business confidence in UK construction hits 17-month low
The latest S&P Global/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index shows confidence in the sector fell to a 17-month low in March indicating that inflationary pressures have “unnerved some construction companies.”

SMEs and manufacturers lament NICs rise

Employers groups have said the rise in National Insurance would inflict pain for businesses struggling to recover from the shock to the economy caused by the pandemic. Martin McTague, the national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said it was a “jobs tax hike” that would hurt workers and employers. “The small business tax burden is now at its greatest since the 1950s – a development which couldn’t have come at a worse time, with spiralling energy costs, input cost inflation, supply chain disruption and Covid-related staff absence all taking their toll,” he said.

Separately, research from the manufacturers’ trade group Make UK shows as many as 60% of industrial firms believe the rise will have a moderate or significant impact on their recruitment plans, while almost three-quarters say it will add to inflationary pressures that will be passed on to consumers. “The NICs increase is just one of many significant costs facing UK manufacturers and there will be a big question as to whether the UK is a competitive place to do business right now,” a spokesperson for the group said.

BCC: NICs hikes adds to severe pressures

The British Chambers of Commerce has warned that the rise in National Insurance would add to already severe pressure from runaway inflation and soaring business costs. “[The] rise piles another cost pressure on top of firms at a time when they can ill afford to bear it,” said Shevaun Haviland, the director general of the BCC. “Members are telling us that energy bills are soaring while the price of raw materials are reaching levels many have never encountered before. This comes alongside vastly increased shipping costs and a squeezed labour market.”

Treasury figures released in response to a parliamentary question from Labour, show the portion of the NICs hike paid by employers is to raise £8.8bn for the exchequer in the current financial year. Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary, said the figures showed the Government was not on the side of employers. “The Conservatives’ decision to hike taxes during a cost of living crisis will make things even harder for businesses and families,” he said.

Elsewhere, new figures collated by the Liberal Democrats show British pubs, restaurants and hotels will be forced to pay £216m more in taxes this year thanks to the tax hike. London Liberal Democrat MP and business spokesperson Sarah Olney said: “This high-tax and anti-business government is out of touch with pub landlords and restaurant owners. After all the pain of the past two years this tax hike is the last thing London hospitality businesses needed.” But Boris Johnson said the increase is “unquestionably the right thing for our country” while Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it would be morally wrong not to increase taxes to pay for social care.

Bilimoria: Now not the time to put up taxes
With the new tax year now underway, ushered in by the 1.25 percentage point hike in National Insurance, CBI President Lord Bilimoria has hit out at Rishi Sunak’s increase in UK taxes stating to LBC that the British people were struggling and now was not the time to make them pay more.

Elsewhere, Tim Sarson, head of tax policy at KPMG UK, said: “The new tax year brings more cost for businesses. The health and social care levy will immediately hit the coffers of employers who are already grappling with rising inflationary pressures.” Christine Cairns, tax partner at PwC, adds: “The freezing of income tax thresholds will start to squeeze households, with even the cut in the basic rate band from 2024 not compensating for this year on year.” Finally, Paul Falvey, tax partner at BDO comments: “The Chancellor has opted for higher taxes to pay for the NHS recovery and to get the national debt under control, but these carry the risk of supressing economic activity.”

Sunak’s wife hits back at “non-dom” tax claims
The Chancellor’s wife, Akshata Murthy, has rebuffed claims she adopted “non-domicile” tax status to avoid paying UK taxes, arguing that she was forced to do so because she is not able to hold dual citizenship under Indian law. Rishi Sunak’s wife claimed she “has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all her UK income.” Labour said it was “staggering” Mr Sunak’s family “may have been benefitting from tax reduction schemes”. The party’s shadow Treasury minister Tulip Siddiq called on the Chancellor to “urgently explain how much he and his family have saved on their own tax bill at the same time he was putting taxes up for millions of working families”. News of Murthy’s tax status comes as The Chancellor’s increase in National Insurance comes into effect, leaving millions of workers paying more tax.

Energy Strategy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK’s new Energy Strategy, with plans  to build up to 8 new nuclear power stations and offshore wind farms as he seeks to shore up the U.K.’s energy supplies in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The PM’s energy security strategy looks to secure our energy independence, targeting a tripling of installed nuclear power capacity by 2050 and accelerating plans to install offshore wind farms this decade. The plan also includes more ambitious targets on hydrogen, solar power and measures to boost North Sea oil and gas projects.

Experts have decried the lack of land based wind farms the lack of focus on energy efficiency and  home insulation which would give immediate cost benefits, compared to the large infrastructure projects which will take years to come online and yield returns.


The International Energy Agency said 31 member countries will release 120m barrels of oil from emergency reserves to push down fuel prices, which surged after Russia invaded Ukraine. 50% of the release will come from a draw-down of oil reserves in the US that President Joe Biden announced last week.

Proportion of EU workers in UK hospitality falls
Data from software firm Fourth show the proportion of EU workers in the UK hospitality industry has fallen to 28% from 42% in 2019, forcing firms to pay more to attract domestic staff.


The US Federal Reserve has revealed plans to start reducing it’s massive $9 trillion balance sheet built up through quantitative easing by $95 billion a month, sending shock waves through markets.

Offer accepted for Derby County
The joint administrators of Derby County have accepted an offer from US businessman Chris Kirchner to acquire the club. The bid, accepted by Quantuma, is for the purchase of the football club only, with the terms of its ongoing occupation of Pride Park stadium to be negotiated with external stakeholders. Joint administrator Carl Jackson said: “We are delighted to be able to name Mr Kirchner as preferred bidder, which the joint administrators consider represents the best deal for creditors and one which will secure the long-term future of the club.”

Why should you become a CPA member!

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for some time to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. And we provide credit information so you can monitor and assess your key customers.

Unlike other credit management companies, we charge our members a fixed annual subscription irrespective of how high the debt value is!

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Do you have a commercial late payer that is causing you grief? Use CPA’s no-win, no-fee, commercial debt recovery service!

If you have a particular business customer who is late paying and causing you sleepless nights, why not offer it to CPA for purchase on recourse?

CPA’s collection department will then pursue the debt. We will be liable for any costs incurred and then when we have recovered the debt, we will pay you the net principle debt recovered less our percentage.

Once you have enjoyed that success then you can consider the more cost effective membership which includes our Overdue Account Recovery service and Status/Credit reports as well as a range of other complimentary services.

Just call  020 8846 0000 and ask for Godfrey Nelson or Cris Shirley (business hours) or email today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.


Get compensated for previous late payments

Have you been paid late by business customers in the last six years?

Maybe you no longer work with them. Under legislation, you are entitled to  compensation you for those late payments you have suffered.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Claim late payment compensation (LPC) from former business customers who paid you late in the last six years!

CPA (LPC) Recoveries is using our bespoke software and decades of experience to do just that for our clients

Check our compensation calculator to see how much your business could be owed!

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.