The Chancellor should focus his first all-conservative Budget on reducing the deficit, promoting growth and supporting small businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.
FSB research in June 2015 showed that in Q2:
- small firms’ revenue and profits increased
- 32% were planning to increase capital investment – the highest number ever
- a record number of firms (65%) had growth aspirations.
Against this backdrop the FSB is calling on the government to deliver a Budget that addresses the concerns of small businesses and supports them in maintaining growth and acquiring investment:
- Reforming the tax system
The FSB is urging the government to ‘radically simplify’ the tax system. Further measures to incentivise investment and research and development should be announced, while a firm commitment to deliver a ‘flexible, fair and transparent’ business rates review is imperative.
- Stimulating exports
The government should use the British Business Bank to assist small exporters and start-ups to help hit their target of £1 trillion of exports by 2020.
- Fighting the skills shortage
The FSB has praised the government’s commitment to deliver 3 million more apprentices by 2020 but more must be done to promote apprenticeships as an equal alternative to academic degrees.
- Investing in infrastructure
The UK’s broadband infrastructure demands more investment if it’s going to support rural businesses and the FSB is calling on the government to deliver 10Mbps speed to rural areas instead of the planned 5Mbps. Further action should also be taken on transport infrastructure such as roads and HS3.
- Improving access to finance
The FSB would like to see the Chancellor reaffirm the government’s commitment to the British Business Bank. They are also calling on the government to ensure equal access to the payment system and improved credit data in order to improve credit markets.
John Allan, national chairman for the FSB, said:
“The Budget is an early opportunity to provide a boost to the increasing positive sentiment, and for the Chancellor to demonstrate his pro-enterprise credentials by again backing small business to deliver the growth and jobs the economy needs. That effort must however begin with a continued focus on reducing the deficit that remains too high for comfort.”
“By delivering the recommendations set out in our budget submission, the government can create the right environment for small businesses and enterprises to flourish, making the UK economy one of the most buoyant in the world.”