PROSPER MAGAZINE: ISSUE 02 | NEWS IN BRIEF
FAIRTRADE HITS 25 YEARS
As the Fairtrade Mark hits 25 years, The Midcounties Co-operative has launched its ‘1 Swap campaign’ encouraging shoppers to swap one item in their trolley for a Fairtrade equivalent.
Over the years it has been estimated that the Fairtrade logo and the premium it pays has helped to improve the lives of over 1.6 million farmers and workers across 73 countries including some of the poorest communities in the world. Many of those who originally benefitted from the scheme have grown-up children of their own. Their standard of living and education has been subsidised by us paying a little more for the products we love from coffee to wine.
BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT COMMITS TO NET ZERO CARBON TARGET BY 2033
Birmingham Airport has announced its commitment to become a net-zero carbon airport by the year 2033, prioritising zero-carbon airport operations and minimising carbon offsets.
Recognising that climate change is happening, the airport feels it needs to set an ambitious target ahead of the UK’s target of 2050, to reduce its carbon footprint further, quicker. The Midlands airport has already cut its carbon emissions since 2013 by 33 per cent, and emissions per passenger by over 50 per cent, despite growing passenger numbers by 40 per cent.
AVERAGE R&D TAX CLAIMS ARE CLIMBING
Innovative SMEs are investing in research and development and stand to reclaim an average of £50,000 according to new figures from HMRC.
The government’s latest Research and Development Tax Credit Statistics Report dated October 2019 revealed that since the scheme was launched in 2000, over 300,000 claims have been made, and in the region of £27bn has been paid to SMEs in tax relief, with the average value of an individual claim now standing at £50,000.
The figures confirm high numbers of claims by SMEs since the government’s R&D Tax Credits scheme launched, however more UK SMEs should be encouraged to make a claim.
Whilst the number of claims has broadly increased year-on-year, it is clear the total number remains at significantly less than 10% of all UK eligible SMEs. With the average claim now worth £50,000, eligible and innovative SMEs are simply missing out on reward and financial support for their R&D, and potentially a considerable amount of money that they could use for the next stage or ongoing investment in their product or service development activities.
The latest figures show the number of first-time applicants has also increased, by around 15% year-on-year with more than 60% of claims made by companies in the manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical, information and communications sectors.
£4.3bn of R&D Tax relief support has been claimed for 2017/18, corresponding to £31.3bn of R&D expenditure.
In 2016/17, the total number of claims rose by 20% on the previous year to £52,335, primarily driven by a rise in the number of SME claims.
Companies with a registered office in London, the South East, and East of England made more claims than the rest of the UK – accounting for 46% of all claims and 61% of the total amount claimed.
Claims by SMEs in the Midlands has increased by about 15% year-on-year, with average claim values up by around 3%, but these are still in the region of 20% lower than the national average claim value, meaning there is certainly more scope for even more Midlands-based companies to both claim and to potentially claim more.