Did the Summer Budget, 2015, float your boat?
Well, it was certainly received kindly by some sections of the business community, particularly the reduction of corporation tax, the proposals to reduce business rates, and the commitment to increasing national productivity. In other quarters, however, the Budget was less well received, with accountants and businesses both worried about the longer-term implications of the government’s commitment to the ‘living wage’.
But what was the general impression of the business community?
Well, the Federation of Small Businesses went on record and described the Summer Budget as a ‘mixed bag.’
Why was the FSB’s response so lukewarm? Well, although it approved of many of the measures proposed by the government – measures like the slashing of corporation tax and the boosting of regional growth, it still expressed concerns that some of the Budget initiatives regarding the National Minimum Wage and Sunday trading laws could have long-term consequences for the livelihoods of FSB members.
John Allan, national chairman, FSB, said:
“The Chancellor, George Osborne was right to continue to focus on the budget deficit reduction, reducing the national deficit, [reducing] corporation tax, [increasing] the annual investment allowance and boosting regional growth.”
He added that Mr Osborne was to be praised for making some tough decisions to reach his goals. However, he also sounded a note of caution, adding:
“For businesses, the Budget contained a mixed bag of proposals, some of which will prove challenging to our 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 FSB remains uncertain of the impact of any change to Sunday trading rules on smaller retailers.
They have suggested that 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.”
If you would like more information about the Summer Budget, 2015, and would like to find out how the changes could affect your small business, then contact Steven Glicher accountants on 0161 485 8007 or email info@.