Small businesses are dissatisfied with taxation changes, survey shows

25th February 2013

A new survey has confirmed that the majority of small businesses in the UK are unimpressed with the changes made to the tax system by the current government.

The study, conducted by the Forum of Private Business, revealed that the changes are broadly seen to be negative in terms of resolving long-term issues such as fairness, efficiency and stability.

As many as 28 per cent of business owners suggested that the fairness of the tax system has deteriorated since the coalition came to power in May 2010.

What's more, a quarter of respondents said that the system had become more complex, while 26 per cent argued that the efficiency of the tax system had got worse.

By contrast, a measly three per cent of respondents said that they were happy with business rates in the UK.

"It's probably fair to say that business rates are the most despised of all commercial taxes by today's small business owner in the UK," commented Phil Orford, Chief Executive of the Forum.

"It's a crippling tax that business owners simply have no choice but to pay, and for many who claim to see no discernible benefit to having paid up, it clearly sticks in their craw.

"While there's no doubt that businesses should pay their way for services such as bin collections and for roads to be properly maintained, many feel their hard earned cash is not being spent wisely, or certainly not for their advantage or benefit."

He said, too, that business rates are increasingly seen as a crude means of getting money from diligent entrepreneurs.

Turning his gaze to Chancellor George Osborne, Mr Orford warned that a significant number of businesses will go bust in the coming months if rates continue to climb.

This statement comes as Moody's Investors' Service stripped the UK of its coveted triple A credit rating, citing slow economic growth and austerity measures as the primary reasons behind the decision.

Posted by Thomas Fletcher

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