Autumn Statement must help small businesses, says FSB

Monday 26 November 2012

The Chancellor needs to formulate a plan to support small business growth which can be fully delivered at the Budget 2013, it has been claimed.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging George Osborne to focus on measures designed to stimulate entrepreneurial activity in the UK, as he prepares his Autumn Statement.

Changes are needed, the FSB says, to deliver more competition in the banking sector, cheaper fuel, a simplified tax system and reform of the labour market.

The federation is also calling for an extension of the regional National Insurance Contributions holiday to all micro businesses across the whole of the UK, and more investment in UK broadband networks.

Govt 'judged on its actions'

John Walker, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said this is a "very important statement" from the Chancellor.

"At the half-way point of the parliament, the government will be judged on its actions," he stated.

"There is no argument that they've had a tough economic backdrop to work with, but small firms are still feeling the pressure, so need a clear plan for growth to get them back on track is needed."

He claimed that small business policymaking has been subject to a range of "confusing patchwork approaches" that have often had minimal impact on the ground.

"We want to see a clear plan of action from the Chancellor which he can take forward to Budget 2013, which will detail the long-term support small firms need," Mr Walker stated.

He said that key to this is going to be the small business bank, and eventually how it can become the Small Business Administration supporting small businesses over the long-term.

Disappointing Budget for small firms

Last week, Alex Jackman, head of policy at the Forum of Private Business, said the Autumn Statement offers a chance for the Chancellor to make amends for the disappointment that was the March Budget.

He called on Mr Osborne to "really show he understands the challenges the economy faces".

"Much of that will be real acknowledgement that government is doing everything in its power to reduce the cost of doing business for small business," Mr Jackman said.

The Autumn Statement 2012 will be made at Westminster by George Osborne on Wednesday December 5th at 12:30 GMT.

Posted by Dan Smith