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Chancellor receives Spring Budget wish-list from small business community

A number of leading British business groups have written to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to request a pro-business Spring Budget on 8th March.

Among these is the FSB, which has written directly to Mr Hammond to request enhancements to the Employment Allowance in a bid to mitigate the rising cost of employing staff.

Recent FSB analysis indicates the average small business will incur an additional £2,600 in employment costs as a result of Government policy during the 2017/18 tax year. This is due in no small part to increases to the Living Wage and the costs of auto-enrolment pension schemes.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of FSB, said: “Spiralling labour costs are now threatening [SME] growth ambitions and hiring intentions.

“The Employment Allowance … has been a huge success and now it is time for this Government to build on that.”

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has also called on the Government to repair the “broken business rates system, including removing all plant and machinery from the valuation of property for business rates purposes and bringing forward the planned switch from valuations based on RPI to CPI”.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of BCC, said: “The fundamental unfairness of business rates remains. We’re calling for steps to be introduced which would help alleviate some of the excessive pressure put on businesses by rates.”

Meanwhile the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also reinforced the importance of business rates reform for “the high street and our manufacturers”.

Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist of CBI, said: “The UK’s outdated business rates system seriously risks impairing their [UK firms’] ability to deliver the jobs and investment in our economy.”

Also at the top of the CBI’s wish-list is a desire to see reforms of high-value technical education for 16 to 18-year-olds, helping to open their eyes to a world of possibilities.

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