Small firms appeal to Chancellor

Mar 02, 2007

As the Federation of Small Businesses presented its Budget submission to the Treasury, senior FSB figures warned that the Chancellor must make this “his best Budget”.

National chairman Carol Undy said: “Despite ten years in Number 11, there is still a lot that remains to be done in the fields of tax, business support and regulation. This is an ideal opportunity for him to make a huge difference to the health of the economy by helping small businesses.

“The majority of private sector jobs are in small businesses and they are waiting for action from the Chancellor following his frequent warm words about entrepreneurship.”

FSB Luton and South Beds chairman Carole Hegley (pictured) added: “Reductions in tax and regulation for small businesses as well as more effective investment in priority areas, such as basic education, transport infrastructure and business support would boost the economy for everyone. We hope that this is what the Chancellor will deliver on Budget day.”

The FSB’s Budget submission calls for:

An assurance that all school-leavers will have basic literacy, numeracy, communications and personal presentation skills;

A recognition for informal training on the job in the workplace and more bite-sized vocational courses that small firms can access for their staff;

Entrepreneurship to be encouraged at school;

Taxes that are low, simple and stable – changing tax rates and altering their nature hits business confidence and planning – National Insurance in particular should be simplified;

A greater knowledge and understanding of small businesses in government departments;

More funding for road and rail infrastructure;

A more flexible approach to labour law so that the variance in needs between small and large businesses is recognised – compliance costs are much higher for small businesses;

The government to stop using employers to administer benefits via the payroll;

The promotion of the work-life balance by the Government must not forget to include the work side of the issue – FSB members feel that there must be a balance between employer and employee rights;

A tightening up of Regulatory Impact Assessments to reduce the red tape burden on businesses;

The National Minimum Wage to rise only by inflation in future to avoid hitting businesses hard in some regions and sectors;

The end of IR35 – it is an administrative burden for businesses and HMRC and brings in little revenue;

Tax reforms on climate change to be revenue-neutral;

More effort to ensure a secure and sustainable supply of energy with recognition that small businesses need to be recognised as a separate consumer group in the energy market;

Local authorities to engage with their business communities and procure from them where possible – the trend for public sector contracts being aggregated unfairly cuts small businesses out of the process and can work against best value for public spending;

The continuation of the welcome initiative to streamline business support schemes.

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