FSB labels Summer Budget 2015 a 'mixed bag'

10th July 2015 | News

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has described yesterday’s Summer Budget 2015 as a mixed bag for business.

Such as measures as the slashing of corporation tax have been praised but the FSB has scrutinised initiatives such as the National Living Wage and Sunday trading laws.

John Allan, national chairman, FSB, believes Chancellor, George Osborne was “right” to focus on reducing the national deficit, corporation tax, the annual investment allowance and boosting regional growth.

“The Chancellor is right to continue to focus on the budget deficit reduction and has made some tough decisions to reach his goals,” said Allan.

“For businesses, the Budget contained a mixed bag of proposals, some of which will prove challenging to our members.”

However, Allan said many concerns remain regarding the livelihoods of FSB members.

“We agree with the focus on productivity but need to see the details to raise skills through the apprenticeship levy on large firms.

“Planning reforms are also critical to raising productivity and again we look forward to seeing the proposals on Friday.

“However, even though offset by a welcome increase in the employment allowance, some will find the new National Living Wage challenging.

“Changes to the treatment of dividends will also affect many of our members.”

The lobbying group remains uncertain of the impact of any change to Sunday trading rules on smaller retailers and suggests the Government should take a wider holistic view to see what else can be done to support these businesses.

“Bringing forward reforms to business rates is an immediate priority. We should also do more on liberalising licensing laws, easing planning restrictions and on improving customers’ access to parking,” added Allan.

“All are areas which are currently doing more to hold back the high street than Sunday trading.

“Under current proposals, the decision to change Sunday trading rules will be devolved to the local level.

“It is critical these local decision makers include small businesses in the debate. Local businesses are at the heart of our communities and the ones most likely to feel the direct impact of these proposals.

“Their concerns should be listened to, before any [final] decision is made.”