The Northern Lights are still on – just a bit dimmer…
Those of you who remember Leslie Crowther shouting “come on down, the price is right” might just be old enough to recall that noise. Yes, it is the sound of belts being tightened. A sound not really heard in the North-East of Scotland since the mid-eighties. The local economy slowed down then whilst the rest of the country was relatively buoyant. So what is in store now?
Well cheaper oil should give western economies a general boost. Consumers should benefit as domestic prices drift down. The cost of filling up a family car will be £10 less, and pressure is on the big six energy companies to cut their rates.
"I made it clear last summer that I believe that energy suppliers need to be able to explain the gap between retail and wholesale prices and I stand by that," says Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem.
But Aberdeen will be hit. Today BP is announcing 300 job losses (which seems a remarkably small number) and will join the others by imposing pay cuts on contractors. All the “nice to have” changes are being binned but there are still a fair number of projects ongoing with funds already allocated.
There will be an impact on North-East businesses. If your business is having problems, take early advice. CS Corporate Solutions are insolvency practitioners as well as Chartered Accountants, and first meetings are always free. But for 12,000 each year now, retirement beckons. If you are one of those contractors you need to think about what is going to happen to your limited company. You particularly should consider what is the most tax-effective way to extract the remaining funds from the company. Entrepreneurs’ relief needs to be considered, and a (solvent) Members Voluntary Liquidation is needed – and again CS Corporate Solutions can advise you or your accountant on what is needed here. It will be nice to see you, to see you – nice!
Just remember. There is an election coming up. The rules on Entrepreneurs Relief are in the firing line and there may well be changes sooner rather than later!