Time for a budget aimed at growth says Business West chief

Phil Smith, MD of Business West

Phil Smith, MD of Business West

In the lead up to the Chancellor’s Budget, many chambers of commerce and business organisations are stating what actions and measures they want to see taken in relation to the economy.

Locally, this has seen a recent survey of businesses by Business West identify the following issues as top of the business wish list to be included in the Budget:

• 30% want to see very small businesses exempt from VAT
• 18% want to see further reductions in Corporation Tax
• 15% still think access to finance needs to be significantly improved for SMEs
• 14% had freezing business rates at the top of their agenda
• 12% want to see further simplification of employment law
• 10% would prioritise reducing fuel prices

Given the recent downgrading of the UK’s credit rating and the continued stagnation of the UK economy, Business West chief Phil Smith says that the chancellor needs to take this opportunity to be brave and provide a budget truly aimed at growth.

He comments:“We call on the government to stop relying on ’hope’ as a strategy and deliver now on existing promises as well as commit to new growth measures.

“Many local businesses believe they can drive growth this year, but they can’t do it alone. Time is running out. Bold action must be taken now to boost confidence so that businesses can create wealth and prosperity.

“We want to see new commitments, around direct investment in much-needed new housing, road maintenance and broadband infrastructure.

“We want to see a freeze on business rates for the next three years; expand support for companies exporting to overseas markets because there are still too few UK businesses exporting.

“We want to see more support given to SME businesses with ambitions to grow and make it easier for them to access this support.

“Business West urges the government to sign off a budget that creates an environment for enterprise and one that boosts business confidence even further.”