Autumn Statement: Chancellor’s “game-changing” decisions on business rates and self-employed tax welcomed by small firms
Business / Wed 22nd Nov 2023 at 03:48pm
RESPONDING to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Tina McKenzie, Policy Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:
“Jeremy Hunt has today taken very welcome action on late payments, small businesses’ rates, and self-employed taxation. Small businesses – and the 16 million people who work for them – are the route to future growth that will raise living standards across the whole country.
“The Chancellor and his Treasury team deserve credit for driving pro-small business change and for listening to and working closely with FSB and its small business members to address the real concerns of businesses, and acting to help build future prosperity.
“The Chancellor is right to have condemned from the despatch box the scourge of late payment practices.
“Driving out the worst payers from Government contracts and increasing the reputational risk faced by those large corporates who use their small suppliers as a form of free credit is not only the right thing to do to lessen the absolute stress and strain so many business owners face – it is also the way to increase the amount of working capital small businesses can put to good use building up their businesses and investing in the future.
“This is real leadership on this issue and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government, including the Business Secretary, to drive out bad payment practices.
“Business rates are one of the absolute worst taxes faced by small firms. Size matters when it comes to rates, and the Chancellor is absolutely right to have concentrated his firepower on helping the smallest firms at the heart of so many communities.
“Thousands of pubs, cafés and small shops in high streets across England will be pleased today with the bold, measured and targeted support from the Chancellor to help them through troubled times and build towards growth.
“FSB’s teams in the other UK nations will now be pressing their relevant devolved governments and decision-makers to use any consequential funding to extend similar support to these hard-pressed sectors in their own economies.
“Meanwhile, by acting to help small businesses with premises through freezing the small business multiplier, the Government has prevented an inflation-linked hike for many of those in the supply chain and other sectors too.
“This will also help to make the rise in the National Living Wage more affordable. FSB will work with the Chancellor and the Treasury to take stock of what firms need before the rise comes in.
“The UK’s four-million self-employed people play a hugely important role in the labour market and in building growth across the whole economy.
“The Chancellor’s decision to reduce the rate of self-employed National Insurance, and abolish the Class II element, are extremely welcome, easing the burden on strivers up and down the country.
“FSB has long campaigned for the abolition of the Class II element of National Insurance and the reduction of Class IV, and we are therefore pleased that the Chancellor has acted.
“FSB will be looking in more depth at the full details arising from today’s Statement, including the various consultations and plans announced.
“When it comes to late payment, business rates and self-employed tax, it is unquestionably clear that the voice of small business has been heard today. This game-changing small business package shows the prioritisation of pro-growth measures where they will do most good, while getting the best bang for the taxpayer buck.
“We will continue to engage with all of the main political parties across the UK as we head towards next year’s General Election to make sure that policy proposals from all sides work in the best possible way for small firms. The UK’s 5.6 million small business owners are a large and motivated part of the electorate.”
You can tell Tina works for the FSB and does not run one of its businesses. While late payment is important and business rate relief is good. For many small businesses the budget did nothing, in fact for many it made it worse was they gave a 10% pay rise in the minimum wage which comes not from government but businesses already struggling with increased costs especially in hospitality. Slight cuts in NI are good but again nothing for the employers with the employers NI. Rob will be along soon to say how good this is but in reality every business owner I have spoke to or seen comment today thinks the budget is either neutral or making things worse
It is also interesting that there is no mention above of the raise in corporation tax paid by businesses, which jumped from 19 per cent to 25 per cent in April this year. But I guess that Sock-Puppet-Tina has already forgotten about this raise in tax.