School funding, plastic tax and the NHS – all you need to know about the 2018 Autumn Budget.

This week the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond presented the 2018 Autumn Budget. We asked our Managing Director, Nicholas Parrish what his thoughts were on the news. Here’s what he had to say.

Education to receive additional funding

The education sector looks to receive a £400m bonus to help cover extras. This equates to roughly £10,000 per state primary school and £50,000 per state secondary school in England.

 “It’s far below what the education sector needs and with the rise in minimum wage, the spend on healthcare and those ‘’little extras’’ will inevitably be squeezed.”

He continues “What schools must do now, is look to make smarter purchases with longevity and better cost in use. Look at products that will provide you cost savings in the long run. Toilet rolls can be purchased for less than £3 per pupil per year from the right supplier.”

A Sustainable Future

A new tax will be introduced from 1st April 2022¹ for plastic packaging containing less than 30% of recyclable materials. The tax will be chargeable to manufacturers to support efforts of increasing sustainable packaging.

This coincides with the huge push to reduce plastic waste over the last 12 months after figures were released that stated there has been 8 billion tonnes of plastic waste produced to date.

 “This is good news. As a company we strive to work closely with manufacturers to provide environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging. We only have one world, we have to look after it!”

NHS and Care Homes

Mr Hammond went on to explain that the NHS will be receiving an extra £20.5bn over the next five years. The Chancellor confirmed that it had been given the go ahead after it was proposed by Prime Minister, Theresa May in June. Along with this, there will be an extra £700m for councils for the care of elderly and disabled individuals.

“The extra funding is welcomed for Adult Social Care but we suspect most will be used up by the increase in the living wage, which applies to many care workers.”

Nicholas continued to add – “It will be more important to source the right products, so that care workers can be more effective in their roles.”

Facilities Management & Cleaning

National Living Wage and tax thresholds will be increasing from April 2019. A 4.9% increase will take the National Living Wage up to £8.21 an hour which currently sits at £7.83. The personal tax allowance threshold will rise to £12,500 instead of £11,850. This will impact many industries including education & care.

“The increase in the minimum wage is very welcomed. However as stated previously, it means a tighter squeeze on the procurement of products and equipment. Organisations will need to look at smarter solutions to ensure they make the most of their remaining budget.”

In conclusion the added value to each sector is welcomed, but is still not enough. Therefore we urge businesses to identify the key products to suit their needs. Small changes in products that are used on a daily basis will help reduce spend.

Wightman & Parrish have a dedicated customer services team who are always on hand to offer support and advice on what product is best for you and your business’s needs. We can arrange for a representative to complete a free, no obligatory site visit to help your business get on its way to great savings. Give us a call on 01323 445 005 or contact us here.