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21 Nov 2016

Employee perks face tax threat from Treasury

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond is expected to announce a so-called ‘tax raid´ on the employee benefit perks currently enjoyed by millions of workers, the Telegraph reports.

As part of his autumn statement, due to be announced on the 23rd November 2016, the chancellor will reveal the Treasury´s plans to tighten the rules on certain workplace benefits, including gym memberships, health checks and mobile phone contracts.

In what´s being described by critics as a ‘stealth tax´, millions of middle earners at big companies across the UK will have no choice but to pay hundreds of pounds if they wish to continue receiving such perks.

Despite numerous firms writing to the government and explaining that this would mean scaling back free staff medical checks, the Treasury remains firm that the rapid growth of ‘salary sacrifice´ schemes is costing too much in missed national insurance contributions and income tax.

It is important to safeguard “revenue which is vital for funding public services,” a Whitehall source told the publication.

Wednesday´s pending autumn statement will be Hammond´s first set of major policy announcements since taking over from George Osborne in July. It is predicted that the statement will focus largely on steadying the economy following the Brexit vote, and providing boosts for JAM families - those who are ‘just about managing.´

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the chancellor praised Osborne´s achievement of reducing the national deficit, and welcome the ‘remarkable resilience´ of the economy since Brexit. He wrote that May´s government “will prioritise support to ordinary working families who are struggling to get by, so that they, too, can join in our vision of Britain´s future.”

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2016

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