Happy New Year! (Are we still ok to say that?!). With 2023 getting underway, there’s lots of new updates and news to expect in the upcoming months for business and accounting services.

Here’s all the latest news from January.

Support for Farming Businesses

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has outlined plans for the nation’s farming sector, offering support as they produce food sustainably while protecting nature and enhance the environment.

The plans are created to support the UK’s goals towards achieving net zero, promoting the use of more rural and home-grown products compared to shop bought and imported items.

Boost For High Street Businesses Across The UK

Christmas saw business sales rise for high street shops, according to recent data. Primark, Dunelm, Hotel Chocolate, Tesco, Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer’s, DFS, B&M, Next and Greggs all saw their profits and sales go up over the lead up to December’s busy Christmas and new year period.

They also saw this high sales volume continue into the first weeks of 2023, a positive sign for these businesses amidst the cost-of-living crisis.

Is The UK Pension Age Rising?

Whilst unconfirmed, the UK Pension Age is rumoured to be rising to 68 by the end of the 2030s.

Whilst the plans are set for the mid-2040s, many are suggesting that the plans could be moved to 2037-2039 and could be announced in the upcoming budget in March time. An increased age for state pension can cause issues for many, with worries about wellbeing coming into play for those who will be affected by the change. The current plan for this state pension age is for anyone born after April 1977.

Strikes Continue into The New Year

From the NHS to Amazon, more strikes have been affecting daily life for many in the UK as workers demand better working conditions and higher pay rates from the government and their employers. With the government choosing to firmly remain in its position on pay levels, more strikes have been planned for Spring, and could affect more services as the year continues.

UK Consumers Planning to Cut Spending by Two Thirds

With the cost-of-living crisis continuing, UK consumers are planning to cut spending on the most non-essential items from their shopping budget. Inflation has now reached 10%, affecting some of the most essential items that cannot be cut from their bills. In December, food prices saw a rise of 13.3% in inflation, making it even more difficult for those already struggling to even afford the basic necessities.

The Bank of England have warned that a lengthy recession is on the horizon, expected to last until at least 2024.

Take note that the deadline for self-assessment is drawing near. January 31st marks the final day to submit your tax return and pay any taxes that are due. Remember, there are severe penalties to be paid if you file your return late, so be sure to keep track of important dates like this one. By filing ahead of schedule, you can avoid unnecessary stress and worry and take control of your finances.

Whilst we head towards February, we can expect to see more stories and changes to our economy and business landscape as the country gets to grips with the new year. We hope you have a wonderful February!