Charlie Mullins

What does the Autumn Statement mean for SMEs?

SMEs need more support and I think that the Chancellors Autumn Statement announcement has proved that the government is prepared to do just that.

We (SMEs) are the engine that drives the economy, but it will stall if we’re not given the opportunities to grow so the business tax cuts, extra funding for the new business bank, no 3p fuel duty increase, and more funding for the Regional Growth Fund are a good call and very welcomed. I even go as far as saying we couldn’t have asked for much more.

The Chancellor is showing he understands the role businesses have to play in the recovery. AIA cuts and a 1% Corporation Tax cut, £1bn of extra funding for a new business bank to lend to small businesses and the scrapping of the 3p fuel increase all proves this. Its not just about a change to using less petrol. Fuel is a contentious issue for many businesses that rely on vehicles. A plumber can’t carry his tools on the Tube! Cancelling the rise will help better plan our fuel costs.

The Chancellor has listened to businesses that have said it is time to stop using fuel rise postponments as Budget sweeteners and give a clear long term view to help plan our fuel costs.

1.2 million jobs created in the private sector proves that, even in these tough times, businesses can grow – so improving the business landscape for SMEs and allowing them to grow further is essential otherwise this will stall.

Youth unemployment maybe dropping, but we need the right opportunities for kids in the sectors that need it most - engineering, science and traditional trades, not supermarket shelf stacking apprenticeships!

George has been forced to rob Peter to pay Paul and the civil servants in Whitehall will have to work within the budgets their given – just like businesses have since Labour placed a stick of dynamite under the economy. Historically in times of austerity pumping money into infrastructure creates jobs and boosts the economy. Improving schools and roads will boost the construction sector and have a trickle-down effect into other areas of the economy.

Tax avoidance has become as socially acceptable as drink driving - hopefully the anti-abuse rule with formalise finger wagging and public outcry! It’s about time someone cracked down on them.

Yes it pays to work. So, why not turn the Job Seeker’s Allowance into a Job Reward Allowance. Give the Allowance to employers who can use it to subsidise the wages of those they employ from the dole queue. Don’t get a job - don’t get the allowance.

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