It was a mixed Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, which was clearly geared towards capital intensive industries and attracting investment into the UK whilst including some welcome measures which could benefit the Transport & Logistics sector.
Here’s what was announced:
Full expensing to be made permanent
‘Full expensing’, which came into effect from 1 April 2023 and which replaced the super-deduction has now become a permanent measure and will no longer come to an end on 31 March 2026. This is a welcome measure to obtain tax relief on capital spend and boost future investment on assets, such as robotics systems/AI and plant and machinery.
Merging the R&D tax relief schemes
For innovative transport and logistics businesses who are developing their own high-tech solutions, the two existing yet separated R&D tax relief schemes will be merging into a single scheme from April 2024 onwards. This should assist in simplifying the regime in future.
Funding for apprenticeship programmes
The Government also announced funding for a two-year apprenticeship pilot. This may help encourage recruitment within the transport and logistics industry and improve the narrowing the skills gap that has developed.
The Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) levies have also been frozen in line with RPI for another year from 1 April 2024.
Finally, in a benefit to aid long term business plans, the Government has also extended the duration of the tax reliefs available in Freeports from 5 years to 10 years, (these measures were due to end in 2026), which include:
1. Enhanced capital allowances – which include 100% on plant and machinery assets and enhanced structures and buildings allowances (10% relief as opposed to 3%)
2. Reduced rates of employer NICs
3. Stamp duty land tax – up to full relief
4. Full business rates relief