Budget for growth did no harm, but won’t boost small businesses
A snap poll of more than 800 members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel has shown that the Budget will have no real impact on the day-to-day running of their business. The poll, which ran on 24 March, the day after the Budget, asked members what impact the Budget would have on their firm, with almost half (45%) of respondents saying it would have no impact at all, and while 31 per cent thought it would have a positive impact.
Four in 10 (42%) members said that they would be no worse off – but crucially no better off – as a result of the actions taken by the Chancellor. And, of the third of members that think they will be better off half (54%) claim they will get a £1 to £1,000 boost to cash-flow in the next year. The reduction in Corporation Tax (50%), the increase in the Approved Mileage Allowance (40%) and the freeze on new domestic regulations (37%) were among the announcements that would have the most positive impact on member businesses.
A third (39%) of those surveyed believed that the Budget would have a positive impact on the economy, compared to only 18 per cent that believed it would have a negative impact. While 52 per cent of members said the introduction of a fair fuel stabiliser would have a positive impact on their business, the FSB has looked more closely at how it would work and believes that it doesn’t go far enough to protect businesses from volatile price increases.
Ken Moon, Chairman of the FSB’s Wessex Region, said: “The Budget was pro-business and we are pleased that the Government has listened to some of our concerns and has extended small business rate relief and scrapped the planned 1p rise in fuel duty and the escalator. But, as the results from the poll show, the Budget has not hurt small businesses, but it won’t help them to grow either. While we welcome the introduction of Enterprise Zones across parts of the UK, the missing link in the Budget was measures to help all UK businesses to take on staff and grow their business. This could have been done easily through extending the National Insurance Contributions holiday to micro-businesses.”