The UK is a world leader in the sharing economy and yesterday’s Budget statement from the Chancellor provided welcome news on support for further growth of the industry.
The world’s first ‘sharing economy tax allowance’ is being introduced and this will incentivise participation by providing users with two £1k tax breaks for online trading and property. Several additional measures announced as part of the budget should foster expansion of the sector.
Around 11% of the population (over 5 million people) across the country are already providers in the sharing economy, taking part through activities via platforms such as selling crafts, renting out space and vehicles to earn extra occasional income. The current £7 billion-a-year industry is forecast to be worth £140bn-a-year by 2025.
Yesterday’s Budget will build on this scale by:
- Encouraging more people to get involved with the technological revolution through £30 million investment in online digital skills courses, promoting digital inclusion.
- Doubling the annual allowance for investors in knowledge-intensive businesses through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the annual investment those companies can receive through EIS and Venture Capital Trusts.
- Speeding up the development of driving technologies by investing £540m in electric cars which will proceed driverless cars. Innovative transport sharing economy businesses can provide positive environmental benefits as Sharing Economy UK’s car sharing members already demonstrate.
Other announcements including tackling online marketplace VAT liabilities will require collaboration between stakeholders, HMRC and industry should work together to ensure that policy implemented does not discourage entrepreneurship or growth.
It was good to see a number of SEUK’s key #Budget2017 asks acted upon because it will help this dynamic sector to flourish and shows that the UK is an exciting world hub for the sharing economy. Our efforts will now focus on fiscal policy areas like increasing the ‘sharing economy tax allowance’ limit further to incentivise greater involvement, assisting more users to earn income from their (often most expensive e.g. car or house) assets or trading online.
Jenna Cane, Sharing Economy UK Manager
See 'news & views' for our full reaction to #Budget2017 and Budget submission: http://www.sharingeconomyuk.com/news-and-views/post.php?s=2017-11-22-sharing-economy-uk-reacts-to-the-budget