Monday, November 24, 2014

News: Business organisations prepare for Autumn Statement

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Business organisations have submitted their calls on the Government for what they would like to see in the upcoming Autumn Statement.

To be given to MPs by the The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne on December 3, the Autumn Statement is an update on the government's taxation and spending plans.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the UK's largest business organisation representing around 200,000 small businesses, has called on the Chancellor to continue supporting business confidence by reforming business rates, taking forward tax simplification, and investing in infrastructure to strengthen and rebalance the economic recovery.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) focuses on new measures to accelerate the progress of infrastructure projects that are critical to businesses, both locally and nationally, urging the Government to enhance the compensation and incentives available to those affected by nearby infrastructure projects such as rail and housing, and commit funding to repair deteriorating roads over the next five years.

The Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), the UK trade organisation dedicated to the future of manufacturing, is calling for a massive boost to infrastructure and innovation to build on the strong economic recovery and, lay foundations for longer-term economic growth. It wants to see funding for the Catapult network increased and the Energy Intensive Industry (EII) compensation scheme announced at Budget 2014, implemented as soon as possible.

Gordon Millward, regional chairman of the 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.

"On taxes, businesses will be looking for measures to ease the cost of business rates, and a commitment to fundamental reform of the current, outdated system. To support business growth and reduce costs, further efforts to simplify our complex tax system should also form a central part of the Statement.

"The FSB has also long called for simplified and sharpened business support to match businesses' growth ambitions. Unfortunately current schemes have not had the impact they should have, which is why the FSB has called for reforms. We are pleased the Government has reviewed the current offer this year, with a view to making it easier to access. We now look forward to seeing what progress has been made."

FSB website
EEF website

Images: HM Treasury

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