Spring has well and truly sprung, and as we now head towards not only Summer but an eventful month for Britain in May, here’s all the latest business and accounting news for April!

Inflation Falls Less Than Expected In The Last Month

The UK’s inflation rate stayed in double figures, with food and drink prices soaring at their fastest annual rate since 1977. The ONS has reported the rate only fell to 10.1% after an unexpected
increase to 10.4% back in February. The Bank of England had predicted inflation to fall to 9.8% after February.

As food and drink becomes more expensive, the poorest households in Britain will be the worst affected due to the rate of inflation slowing – though Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has reiterated that the government are on track to halving the rate by the end of 2023, saying: “These figures reaffirm exactly why we must continue with our efforts to drive down inflation so we can ease pressure on families and businesses.”

Tupperware Facing Collapse

Tupperware has reported that they’re facing a potential collapse, as less and less consumers purchase their products.

Popular in the mid-late 20th century, specifically in the 50s and 60s, Tupperware has started to see a decrease in its shares by 50%, not only thanks to pricing but also due to how accessible similar items are and the move towards more sustainable, environmentally friendly products. They are now channelling their marketing into selling in US store Target, as well as moving into cooking products in order to entice younger buyers.

New Bank Notes Printed

The new banknotes featuring King Charles III have been printed in their millions but aren’t set to enter circulation until 2024. 50p pieces featuring the Kings image entered circulation in December 2022.

The delay in the bank notes entering circulation is due to configuring machines such as self-service tills to recognise the Kings image on the note, instead of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Notes featuring the Queen will still be available to use even after the King Charles III notes are released, until they are no longer fit for use or demand for the new Kings money increases.

Strike Action Planned For May 2023

Strikes are to continue on throughout May as disputes over pay continue. The industries planning to strike include Health Care, Post Office, Education, Rail and Civil Servants. Unions will continue on with their fight for an increased wage for their workers, and public and businesses should remain aware of the plans so they can appropriately prepare around the strike action where necessary. 

UK Government Borrows Less Than Expected

The UK Government has borrowed less than expected in the 2022 23 financial year, which could open up to tax cuts later in the year.

The figure (£139.2bn) was £13.2bn less than The ONS had predicted due to lower-than-expected public spending.

The government’s plans to bring borrowing below 3% of GDP within the next five years, which they’re predicted to meet comfortable for the 2024-5 financial year.

The impact on the decreased borrowing by the government could have an impact on the Autumn Statement, with financial experts believing the government will continue to aim to improve finances ahead of the proposed 2024 General Election.

HMRC To Issue Tax Credits

HMRC are set to issue 1.5 million annual tax credits renewal packs for the 2023-24 tax year between 2 May and 15 June 2023.

Customers will have until 31 July 2023 to check the information is correct and notify HMRC of any changes to their circumstances. These credits will help working families, so it’s highly important they don’t miss out on the money they’re entitled to.

Tax Credits will be replaced with Universal Credit by the end of 2024.

UK Economy Boost Could Be On The Way

As we get ready to move into May, the UK economy is set to see a potential boost.

The Kings Coronation and The Eurovision Song Contest (set to take place in Liverpool) are set to bring in millions for the economy. Pubs in the UK are expected to have a boost of £350m extra sales, whilst retail services can also expect a significant increase for the Coronation – which is predicted to bring in more money for the economy than The Platinum Jubilee weekend in 2022. The Jubilee saw a spending boom in hospitality, transport, entertainment, and food purchases with sales £87m higher than average for the bank holiday weekend.

Businesses in Liverpool specifically can expect to see more money coming in too due to Eurovision. With so many travelling into the city from the UK, Europe and beyond, hotels and travel industries can expect to see a positive change in their revenue, as well as bars, restaurants, and retail shops across the city. The contest is set to bring in a potential £30m to the local economy.

That’s all the latest news for April! Have a great May and remember to keep up with the news for all the latest developments in the world of business and tax over the coming month.