£22bn Infrastructure Bank in the Budget Gary Butterfield Unsplash

March #1 Update: £22bn in the Budget, New Homes Push, New VAT Rules, Free COVID Tests

£22bn Infrastructure Bank in the Budget

The Government has announced £12bn in capital investment + £10bn in loan guarantees for UK infrastructure projects. According to the Telegraph an additional £375m is to be invested to from the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme which started last year for late stage high growth tech firms. The scheme offers loans not grants, is backed by the British Business Bank and not repaying the loan could cause your business to become owned by the Government, in which case you no longer own any intellectual property you develop as the Government will own it. You can read more info here. The author recommends anyone considering the scheme to read the contract very carefully.

Connectivity for Road & Rail

For Road & Rail Connectivity, why not consider EMS i-MO OptiBond solution? Delivers fast / resilient aggregated 4G and / or fixed line services to site in days. The system is widely used on difficult to serve, mobile Road & Rail projects.  See www.ems-imo.com

Find out more

Homes England New Partner Structure / New Mortgage Scheme in Budget

Homes England New Partner Structure / New Mortgage Scheme in Budget Nick Hawkes Unsplash

Coincidence? We think not! The Government announced that first time home buyers need just 5% of the deposit on purchases up to £600k to acquire a mortgage, available from April. Treasurer Rishi Sunak said ““Owning a home is a dream for millions across the UK and we want to help as many people as possible… by giving lenders the option of a government guarantee on 95% mortgages, many more products will become available, helping people to achieve their dream and get on the housing ladder.”

At the same time, Homes England has widened its requirements asking for strategic partners to come forward to help deliver affordable housing. The website says “Homes England is looking for ambitious, successful organisation which share its aims and values to become strategic partners.” For more info and how to apply click here.

New VAT Reverse Charge Affects 1.2m Construction Workers

Sheards Accountants VAT reverse charge

Any Construction Industry Scheme registered business apart from those that are zero-rated will be subject to HMRC’s new reverse charge VAT scheme for building & construction services.

The end result is that no contractors on a project will charge or receive VAT except for the main contractor invoicing the end user in response to massive VAT fraud in the industry. Cash flow could be impacted for businesses affected, you can read the guidance here.

Government Sponsored Workplace Testing for sites > 50 workers

Government Sponsored Workplace Testing for sites > 50 workers Drew Hayes Unsplash

The Government is providing free Lateral Low Device tests to construction sites that have more than 50 workers for testing workers that have no symptoms. You can order the free tests here and read the free guide written by Build UK here. More info on Lateral Flow Tests here.

beable Saves Construction from COVID

Luckily, technology exists so Construction sites can stay open and take care of their workers with beable® Wearable which has been deployed at pilot stage at a large north London site to keep workers safe and productive; it facilitates physical distancing as well as interaction tracking. Co-developed by Electronic Media Services and COMIT Projects and funded by Innovate UK, the new technology has been well received and plans to rollout to further sites in Q2 this year are underway. 

Click here to find out more