FSB calls Budget - a bonanza for small businesses

By Jamie Hill - 11 March 2020

Business

Described as the biggest sustained giveaway in 30 years by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), new Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed a budget that they claim will be a bonanza for business. The Federation of Small Business (FSB) certainly thinks so.

Responding to today’s Budget statement, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, said: “This is a pro-small business Budget, which has delivered a high streets bonus, a series of Conservative manifesto promises to small businesses, and emergency steps to support small firms through the coronavirus outbreak.

“Covering the cost of Statutory Sick Pay and emergency measures for the self-employed are particularly welcome. Removing the minimum income floor for those on Universal Credit will bring help to those working hard to keep their businesses going. These are vital contingencies for the UK’s 5.8 million-strong small business and self-employed community. There may need to be further steps in the weeks and months ahead. The Bank of England funding package means that there are no excuses for banks not to help, when a small business customer is in distress.

“Suspending business rates for small high street firms is a huge bonus for our town centres and high streets. Together with extra cash for those that already qualify for small business relief, this shows a real commitment to supporting small businesses at the heart of communities. The case for fundamental reform to bring down the burden of such a regressive tax on bricks-and-mortar businesses is now stronger than it has ever been, and FSB is ready to help the Government deliver this.

“One of FSB’s main asks at this Budget was a cut to the Jobs Tax, an easing of the cost of employer National Insurance, and we are very pleased to see such a pro-growth, pro-employment measure delivered for all small employers. A National Insurance holiday for small firms employing military service leavers will incentivise tapping the skills and potential of those joining the workforce after a career in the armed forces.

“The continued freeze on fuel duty for another year is a sensible measure which will help those small businesses which are reliant on vehicles. While a move to greener modes of transport is an important longer-term goal, now was not the time to hike tax on hard-working entrepreneurs who have no choice but to drive for their business to function.

“The sensible compromise on Entrepreneurs’ Relief is one that we have proposed and championed, and everyday entrepreneurs will be pleased to hear the Chancellor say that he has listened to FSB on this.

“This has been a deliberately pro small business first budget for the Chancellor. We hope it is the start of things to come.”

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