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News - 14 May 2013

Consumer rights and NIC changes

The publication of a draft Consumer Rights Bill, bringing together a range of consumer protection proposals, was amongst several business-related measures announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The bill will be published by the Government in the summer and will include more protection for consumers who buy digital content, such as e-books, digital music, games and software.

Business Highlights of the Queens Speech were:

  • A National Insurance Contributions Bill that aims to reduce business employment costs with the introduction of a £2,000 Employment Allowance. The Bill will also crack down on the use of offshore payroll companies as way of avoiding employer NICs.
  • A Deregulation Bill to "reduce the burden of excessive legislation on businesses" by repealing existing laws that no longer have any "practical use".
  • The Intellectual Property Bill aims to make it easier for businesses to protect their intellectual property, particularly their designs, with the introduction of a Unified Patent Court that most EU countries have signed up to.
  • The Water Bill aims to make Britain's water supply "more resilient" in the face of increasing droughts and floods through the creation of a national water supply network. The Bill also aims to encourage competition by allowing business customers to switch their water and sewerage supplier

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“On energy, there will be legislation aimed at incentivising businesses to invest in new sources of low-carbon power, from wind farms to nuclear power stations. The Bill will also set up a "capacity market" aimed at ensuring continuity of electricity supply during periods of peak demand.”

For business advice and a more personal approach, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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