I can’t believe it’s December already; it feels like I write these annual reviews far more frequently than just once a year! And as has become the norm over the last few years, it’s certainly been another difficult one for us all. Covid may not still be with us on quite the scale as in previous years, but increasing costs, recruitment issues and business uncertainty have once more presented challenges.
Cost of living
As we did at the end of 2022, we can’t look back on the year without mentioning the cost of living crisis. With inflation still running well above the Bank of England’s target, consumers have seen the cost of everyday items increasing. Other things, like insurance, have seemed to have suddenly jumped in price this year.
High inflation rates have this year filtered into rises such as pensions and benefits, pay rises and even increases in train fares, adding even more costs to businesses’ bottom lines.
There are some signs that the inflation rate is coming down and this month, the interest rate was kept the same for the third month in a row so we could be hopeful for a better 2024.
We’ve also seen some taxation changes this year and as in 2022, it’s mostly been in connection with National Insurance. After the rollercoaster of last year which saw a number of rate change announcements, the Chancellor announced another in his Autumn Statement last month (which you can read all about here) and said that the headline rate of NI would fall to 10% from January from 12%. There will be changes to the NI that self-employed people pay too.
Apart from that, and despite many rumours, there were no other tax changes, so we are waiting to see what happens in the Budget next Spring.
Pixie Payroll’s year
We have been kept very busy this year and we’re so grateful to all the new clients which have joined us and entrusted the vital job of payroll management to us. We have also been working with more businesses from outside of Cornwall which is great for us.
We have been helping employers manage pay rises, sickness absence and recruitment throughout the year, as well as an extra bank holiday that we had for the coronation of King Charles III in May. We like to think that hopefully we’ve taken away some of the day to day headaches for our clients.
It’s also been a real pleasure for us to once again be sponsors of Mullion Cricket Club – this year we added sponsoring a player as well as a match ball to our support. We had an amazing summer of cricket no matter the results and it was so rewarding to get behind our village team.
So now 2024 is on the horizon and it’s likely to be another challenging one although with some hope of better times. We’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.