ACCOUNTING DIRECT PLUS, Hear from the experts, leading at the forefront of the accountancy sector. All the latest from ADPL experts with tips & articles, plus the essential highlights from London's business news. CHANCELLOR ANNOUNCES DATE FOR AUTUMN STATEMENT 2023. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has announced that he will present the Autumn Statement to Parliament on 22 November.
HMRC REOPENS SELF-ASSESSMENT HELPLINE
HMRC has reopened the self-assessment tax helpline from 4 September after it was closed for three months over the summer.Between 12 June and 3 September, callers were redirected to digital services to give HMRC staff time to deal with other phone enquiries and handle the postal backlog.This was not the first time HMRC has limited access to helplines to reallocate staff elsewhere, but it was the first time the tax authority completely shut down a service for a significant period.
Adam Harper, director of professional standards and policy at the Association of Accounting Technicians, said:
“The need for such a pilot, in order to redirect staff elsewhere, highlights the much bigger challenge that HMRC faces in balancing competing priorities with a constrained budget. Ultimately, the Government must address the root problem that more investment is needed.”
In June, Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury, suggested that the closure of the self-assessment helpline would not be the last, saying:
“We will be watching this very, very carefully. If it is helping with some of the customer service problems we have, then we will look to see if we can surge people at other times of the year when there are peaks and troughs into the higher activity areas
“It is about using our people as effectively as possible when customers are trying to contact HMRC.”
Talk to ADPL about your self-assessment tax return. +44 (0) 208 886 9222
EMPLOYERS RAMP UP COUNTER-OFFERS TO RETAIN STAFF
Employers are turning to generous counter-offers in a bid to retain staff as skills shortages persist, new research suggests.
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), 51% of employers who make counter-offers to keep employees have offered a higher number over the last 12 months.
A quarter of employers who have made competing offers think they will need to offer more in the next year, with only 8% to offer less.
The CIPD survey of 2,000 UK employers, taken between 9 June and 5 July 2023, also found that 38% of counter-offers matched the salary of the new job offer, and 40% offered even higher sums.
However, 29% of employers believe counter-offers are ineffective at retaining staff. According to the CIPD, this suggests it “may only be valuable as a short-term option and employees will move if the wider package does not meet their expectations”.
Jon Boys, senior labour market economist at the CIPD, said:
“While pay is often the most typical focus of a counteroffer, there are other things employers should consider in making roles more attractive, such as flexible working, additional paid holiday, opportunities for career development, or better pension contributions.”
ONS REVISES ITS FINDINGS AND SAYS ECONOMY ACTUALLY GREW IN 2021
The UK is no longer a global economic outlier after a huge revision to its post-pandemic economic performance by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
GDP, the size of the country’s economy, climbed back above pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, the ONS said last week — much higher than previously thought.
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