Chancellor urged to write a small business friendly budget

03/15/2016 - 09:30

Two organisations representing the interests of small business owners and self-employed workers have urged the Chancellor to deliver a budget that backs enterprise on Wednesday.

George Osborne, they argue, has to recognise the impact that small businesses have on the economy in terms of driving growth and creating jobs.

At a time when tax and pension changes are making things difficult for business owners, it is crucial that the Budget statement sends a strong signal to small businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) used its pre-budget statement to urge the Chancellor to reform business rates and simplify the tax system.

FSB Policy Director Mike Cherry highlighted the insecurities of many small business owners in the UK.

He said: “In the face of a number of emerging global and domestic pressures, small businesses are looking to the Chancellor to back them through what are set to be challenging times ahead.

“Many are struggling to get to grips with the cumulative impact of a series of new tax and regulatory changes that are due to hit their business.”

Mr Cherry continued: “Mr Osborne must deliver on his promises to overhaul the business rates regime and simplify the tax system.”

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) echoed many of the FSB’s Budget priorities, adding that the Chancellor needs to do more for the smallest business owners – self-employed people and freelancers.

IPSE CEO Chris Bryce said: “The current tax system is complex, time-consuming and burdensome for the smallest businesses, particularly with the IR35 tax affecting many freelancers. The recent Office of Tax Simplification report on small business taxation rightly highlighted the need to make tax simpler for small businesses.”

Mr Bryce also challenged the Chancellor to deliver fairer maternity pay for self-employed workers, after a government report suggested that maternity and adoption benefits should be brought into line with the statutory minimum.

He said: “There are now 270,000 freelancing mums – 100,000 more than in 2008. The Chancellor needs to act on the Self Employment Review’s recommendation to level the playing field, and make sure the self-employed get the same maternity pay as employees.

“New mums should never be held back from going freelance – particularly as it can provide a much better work-life balance than employment.”

The Chancellor will deliver his Budget shortly after midday on Wednesday 16th March. The team will be analysing what it means for small business owners and posting all of our findings in the blog.

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