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Autumn Statement 2012 support for Nuttall Review

05/12/2012

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United Kingdom

The Autumn Statement as presented to Parliament by the Chancellor of the Exchequer by Command of Her Majesty on 5 December 2012 promises further work by HM Treasury in support of employee ownership.   This adds to the Government's existing agenda for promoting employee ownership as set out in "Sharing Success - The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership" and the Government's formal response.

Graeme Nuttall, partner in Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP and author of the Nuttall Review summarised in an article on the Fieldfisher tax blog the background to HM Treasury's review of employee ownership.  Graeme has met with HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs in the course of this review.  The Autumn Statement promises that

"The Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will support the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Cabinet Office in implementing the Government’s response to the Nuttall Review of employee ownership. The Government is considering further incentives to support this objective and will report at Budget 2013."

The full Autumn Statement 2012 coverage of HM Treasury's review of employee ownership is as follows:

Employee ownership

1.128 Budget 2012 announced an internal Treasury review of the link between employee ownership and growth. The Government supports employee ownership as a business model, which offers benefits to employers and the wider economy, and recognises that a range of employee ownership models may be legitimately applied including employee share schemes and Employee Benefit Trusts that are not aimed at avoiding tax. The Government will continue to build a better understanding of the complexities faced by the sector, including within the tax environment. The Nuttall Review set out recommendations to support an expansion in the number of employee-owned businesses. The Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will support the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Cabinet Office in implementing the Government’s response to the Nuttall Review of employee ownership. The Government is considering further incentives to support this objective and will report at Budget 2013.

2.146 Employee ownership – The Government supports employee ownership as a business model, which offers benefits to employers and the wider economy. Sharing Success: Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership (published in July 2012) set out recommendations to support an expansion in the number of employee-owned businesses. HM Treasury and HMRC will support the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Cabinet Office in implementing the Government’s response to the Nuttall review, by contributing to the new BIS led Implementation Group and development of ‘off the shelf’ employee ownership templates and toolkits, and working with BIS, John Lewis Partnership and Santander to develop a forum to promote better access to finance for the sector. The Government is considering further incentives to support this objective and will report at Budget 2013.

Further information and published documents relating to the Autumn Statement 2012 may be found on the HM Treasury website.

For further information on the work of the Fieldfisher Employee and Mutual Ownership Team please contact Graeme Nuttall or Neil Palmer.