Apprenticeship levy will lead to pay cuts

Workers will suffer thanks to the introduction of the chancellor’s apprenticeship levy, said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The levy will force companies to cut wages, according to The Times.

Stephen Nickell, a member of the OBR’s leadership team, said the Chancellor’s move to raise £11.6bn over the next five years from a new apprenticeship levy served as a “payroll tax that would be reflected in lower wages”.

The levy, which is expected to raise £3bn a year and to fund three million apprenticeships, was announced in the summer budget and will be introduced in April 2017 at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill, according to the government.

“It would be extremely unlikely that we could produce forecasts of future interest rates that were systematically superior to the market forecast. If were we able to do so, we could resign and make billions,” said Nickell.