Business group backs measures included in Autumn Statement

Friday 6 December 2013

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement included some positive measures for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a leading industry figure.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said George Osborne's decisions to freeze fuel duty, offer a £1,000 rebate on business rates and deliver a subsidy to companies hiring young people would help SMBs compete.

He suggested that these measures were potentially "worth thousands" to small businesses.

"Within a time of constrained budgets, it‘s good to see the Chancellor has listened to the concerns of small firms around rising costs," Mr Orford added.

He noted that the measures announced on business rates and taxation were particularly positive.

"Some 97 per cent of businesses feel property taxation is too high so the extension to Small Business Rate Relief and the cap on business rates to two per cent are both welcome," Mr Orford added.

However, he claimed there needs to be "a more fundamental review" of business rates and the link to inflation, plus greater transparency over where the rates go.

Mr Orford added that work is ongoing over a number of other issues - including energy - which still need to be addressed in order to help small companies.

He added that the FPB is working hard to ensure its members benefit from any reining back of green taxation.

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Posted by Steve Williams