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FSB keen for Autumn Statement 2014 to support business confidence

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on Chancellor, George Osborne to deliver investment and support UK business ambitions as part of his upcoming Autumn Statement.

As financial uncertainty lingers within the Eurozone and elsewhere, the FSB has urged Government to place the UK economy on a sound fiscal footing to underpin future growth and create an environment that allows UK firms to flourish, both nationally and globally.

Investment in the UK’s transport infrastructure has also been recommended, to maintain productivity and ensure the UK remains globally competitive.

A key priority for the Chancellor should be to invest in improving the UK’s road infrastructure to address bottlenecks in regional road networks with more than four-fifths (82 per cent) of SMEs relying on the road network to run their businesses.

John Allan, national chairman, FSB, said: “Businesses want an Autumn Statement that delivers stability and certainty, and provides them with incentives to grow and create employment.

“That means investing in our infrastructure to match the world’s best, whether that be broadband, road, rail or air.

“Regional connectivity, particularly between our great cities in the North, must be improved if the region is to reach its full potential and challenge the economic prowess of London.

“We encourage the Chancellor to progress plans to set out how that vision might be fulfilled. Likewise, we would like to see sights set far higher on broadband connectivity to power the UK’s digital economy.”

Aside from economic and transport infrastructures, the FSB is also hoping Mr Osborne will consider committing to further simpler tax simplification, reducing deadweight costs on compliance and making rules easier to understand and comply with.

Overly complex tax rules are said to be costing more than three-quarters of UK SMEs around £3,500-a-year to comply with obligations.

Meanwhile three-fifths of small business owners feel the current tax system has a negative bearing on their ability to expand their workforce.

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