As UK falls into recession, small businesses call for pro-growth budget

Business / Thu 15th Feb 2024 at 07:55am

RESPONDING to Office for National Statistics figures showing that GDP fell by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2023, following a fall of 0.1% in the third quarter, Martin McTague, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: 

“The news that we’re in a recession will just confirm what many small firms have been saying for some time now – it’s very tough out there.

“Our research found that confidence among small firms has been in negative territory for seven straight quarters, due to the energy price crisis and the knock-on impact on the cost of doing business.

“There are big differences between sectors, with the hospitality sector recording by far the gloomiest confidence score, underlining that economic pain and strain are far from equally spread out. 

“Small firms are grappling with high interest rates, energy costs much greater than they were a couple of years ago, and weak consumer demand. Two in five small firms said their revenues decreased over the final quarter of last year, with only a third saying they increased, showing that the shine has definitely come off the so-called ‘golden quarter’, to small firms’ detriment.

“The Government needs to foster an environment where small firms can grow, to the overall benefit of the economy, and to put this period of stagnation and shrinkage behind us once and for all. We have set out an ambitious but achievable programme for small business growth at the forthcoming Budget.

“Uprating the Employment Allowance to keep it in line with recent raises in the National Living Wage, raising the VAT threshold from £85,000 to at least £100,000, bringing back tax-free shopping for overseas visitors, ensuring the future of the Recovery Loan Scheme to get funds to start-up and scale-up businesses, and bringing in a national Business Energy Advice Service to help small firms with eye-watering energy costs would all provide a launchpad for growth. 

“Small firms have the drive and the potential to get the economy back up and running, and to put this period of economic decline firmly behind us.”

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4 Comments for As UK falls into recession, small businesses call for pro-growth budget:

2024-02-15 08:49:46

Reading the programme for small business growth it is clear the FSB have no clue and like many organisations seek to continue to justify their existence by keeping the going. The solution is simple, reduce the corporation tax level to 10%, second abolish VAT entirely it is regressive tax, which causes much over head and put the price of everything up 20% just abolish it and shrink government spending. We should also be abolishing the minimum wage, it just becomes the defacto wage for most roles, along with increasing the tax free limit to 25K and removing all tax bands except the base rate one. Yes money would drop off for government to spend but that is good thing. We should also focus on manufacturing and engineering e.g. getting back to making something. Far to often you read in YH of people setting up lifestyle businesses e.g. nails etc which are in effect funded by the tax payer via in work credits etc we need to get back to making things. Oh and drop net zero while we are at it.

2024-02-15 09:13:44

To further this go look at the jobs page of YH most of the jobs are service sector, low skilled or public sector (tax drain) where are the productive jobs for the UK those that grow the country and pay for the massive public sector

Guy Flegman
2024-02-15 12:08:19

We have been in recession since 2010. The government haven very good at changing the way they measure. How else do you explain how everyone has got poorer. My business has tripled in turnover since 2010, yet all my staffs living standards( including mine) are half what they were. Yet we are a high tech high skill high pay business involved in automating the manufacturing sector, which I am told is the sort of business they want in this country. Well not from where I am sitting.

2024-02-15 21:19:39

Guy they do not want industry they like funny money and net zero. We are on the road to total utter collapse, government salaries will go unpaid, banks will close, etc. There is no other way around this now the die is set too many take to much from to few, there is too much debt and we have no manufacturing base. All that happens is how long can they ry to keep the plates spinning from my view they are failing

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