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News Report Page 8 of 12
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Every child in England to be offered cycle training

AN extra ₤22 million for the Access Fund, Big Bike Revival and Walk to School Outreach will fund projects in 2021, to kickstart behaviour change. The Government has announced all children in England will be taught the skills for a lifetime of cycling, as its Bikeability training programme is significantly expanded. The Cycling Minister, Chris Heaton Harris, will join World and European Champion track cyclist Andy Tennant in a Bikeability session at Newnham Primary School in Daventry. The commitment will see an additional 400,000 training places offered on the scheme each year, providing children with the core skills to cycle safely and confidently on the road. More than 80% of children aged between 8 and 10 years old own a bike, and since its launch in 2006, more than 3 million children have already taken part in the Bikeability scheme.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Cycling and Walking Minister, said:- "Cycling is a fun and enjoyable way for children to get to School, the shops or see their friends. It is also environmentally friendly and has a positive impact on their mental and physical health. Extending Bikeability training will inspire the next generation to take to the roads as confident and proficient cyclists and will play an important role in helping us meet our net-zero emission targets."

Former World and European Champion track cyclist Andy Tennant said:- "If we want our children to continue cycling into adulthood it is absolutely vital that we equip them with the skills and knowledge to ride at a young age. Learning to cycle is a brilliant way to help children live happy, healthy and independent lives, and we're absolutely thrilled that so many more children are now going to benefit from the programme in the coming years."

The announcement comes as the Government has revealed that expected spend between 2016 and 2021 on active travel has doubled to ₤2.4 billion. The Government has also announced that it will invest ₤22 million in a range of national schemes over the next year. ₤20 million will go to extend the Access Fund which helps Local Authorities support more people to cycle and walk; ₤1 million will go towards the Big Bike Revival; a grass roots project encouraging more than 40,000 people to take up cycling who wouldn't normally consider it; and ₤1 million will be invested in the Walk to School outreach programmes offered by the Government's partners Cycling UK and Living Streets.

Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK Chief Executive, said:- "Projects like Bikeability and the Big Bike Revival provide the skills for safer cycling to some of the people who need it the most. It's fantastic to see the Government continue to back programmes that deliver and are helping thousands of people every year on their cycling journeys."

Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, said:- "We welcome the intention to extend Bikeability training to all School children. Walking and cycling for shorter journeys provide great health and environmental benefits. And with road transport now accounting for 27% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, making them easier and accessible to more people is 1 of the best ways to reach our carbon-zero targets."

The Access Fund investment will enable more employers to provide cycle training at work, as well as advice to make it easier for people to make the switch towards more sustainable forms of transport. For example:- Blackpool and Sheffield County Councils will receive ₤2.5 million each to fund their 'Walk To' programmes for another year, while Devon County Council will benefit from a ₤500,000 grant to support their "Walking and Cycling to Prosperity initiative."

Late filing by Taxpayers gives Government a ₤95 million pound boost

HMRC'S official records indicate that 958,000 missed the recent 31 January deadline for filing their Self Assessment Tax Returns say leading accountancy and Tax advisory firm Blick Rothenberg. Robert Salter, at Blick Rothenberg said:- "As these Taxpayers are automatically liable to a ₤100 late filing penalty (even if they haven't actually underpaid any Tax), this failure provides HM's Government with another ₤25m in income compared to the previous year. Salter points out that the number of un submitted Tax Returns has risen by over 30% on a year by year basis from 2017/18 and 2018/19 and that this is a problem that HMRC need to urgently look at. This increase in unfiled returns highlights that HMRC needs to improve its focus and systems for educating Taxpayers re their obligations, to ensure that the number of unfiled Tax Returns is minimised. Otherwise, cynics might start to believe that they are using the late filing penalties as an additional source of revenue." Salter added that many people are still not aware that they will be fined for late filing and that both this and penalties for not making a payments can quickly result in huge bills being liable. He said:- "Fines and penalties can quickly add up. Those that did not file by 31 January get the automatic fixed penalty of ₤100. If the Tax Return is 3 months late, HMRC will start charging daily penalties of ₤10 per day and these run for a period of up to 90 days, so up to ₤900 in total. After 6 months, HMRC will charge a penalty of 5% of the person's Tax or ₤300; whichever is higher. Therefore, within 6 months, someone could be facing total penalties of at least ₤1,300. The penalties start to become even more serious if the Tax Return is more than 12 months late and can be as much as 200% of the Tax. HMRC will charge these penalties even if the person doesn't actually have any Tax to pay so it is imperative that people get their Tax affairs up to date and make the returns in a timely fashion People should have paid the Tax that they owe for 2018/19 by the 31 January together with the 1st payment on account for the 2019/20 Tax year, if that was relevant. If a person doesn't pay their Tax on time, HMRC will charge daily interest at 3.25%. Furthermore, if they don't pay the Tax by 1 March, HMRC will charge a penalty of 5% of the Tax and further 5% penalties are levied if the Tax is unpaid at 6 months and 12 months. If someone doesn't file their Tax Return until 1 June and they calculate they have Tax to pay of ₤1,000, they could be facing an additional bill of penalties and interest of just less than ₤500, which is nearly as ½ as much of the Tax owed in the 1st place."

Historic budget brings chance for UK wide surge in investment

THE start of 2020 has seen a welcome lift in business confidence. This historic, 1st budget of a new decade offers the chance to turn rising optimism into a surge in investment across the UK. It is private sector investment that will lift productivity and enable all parts of the country to share in economic growth. Investment is also the key to building the UK into a global innovation leader. Business strongly welcomes the Chancellor's vision to level up communities and lead the way in low carbon energy and is committed to playing its full part. Private sector investment has fallen over the past couple of years. This Budget offers the opportunity to reverse this decline through pro-enterprise economic policy. To achieve this, the CBI recommends a set of practical steps for this Budget. Key proposals include the following:-

► The UK's business rates system puts many parts of the UK economy at a competitive disadvantage. A comprehensive review should reduce the bill on individual businesses. That review should be completed by year end to incentivise investment by firms across the UK.

► The Apprenticeship Levy is holding back skills investment and adding costs and complexity to businesses at a critical time for our economy and the workforce. An extensive review of the levy to ensure it can support a wider range of training should be launched and completed by the next Budget later in 2020

► The Government's National Infrastructure Strategy is welcome and should as a 1st step commit to delivering HS2 in full to unlock capacity and transport connections across the North. It should allocate funds to a wide range of strategic infrastructure projects set out in the CBI's full submission, including the:- Midlands Engine Rail, East Coast mainline and Crossrail and channel digital infrastructure funding to hard to reach places.

► Innovation investment drives good jobs and global strength, but is currently concentrated in the South. The UK should establish a network of world class Catapult Quarters in every Region of the UK to build on local strengths, develop low carbon zones and support innovation clusters

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