Budget brings mixed news for small businesses

Related tags Labour party Business Liberal democrats

The Chancellor has not done enough to ensure small businesses survive the current rough climate, the Liberal Democrats have accused.Brian Cotter...

The Chancellor has not done enough to ensure small businesses survive the current rough climate, the Liberal Democrats have accused.

Brian Cotter (pictured)​, Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Small Business, said that while Gordon Brown had "made some moves in the right direction" he could have done a lot more.

He said freezing tax on insurance was simply not enough to help the large number of businesses already struggling to pay insurance premiums.

But there was some good news for small businesses. Gordon Brown announced that firms with a turnover of less than £56,000 would no longer have to pay VAT from Thursday. He said he was relaxing VAT registration rules and allowing more firms to take advantage of paying a flat rate of VAT.

He also said there were plans to abolish or reform 40 different regulations - a response to the heavy lobbying from business about the increase in red tape since Labour came to power - but failed to give exact details.

Nick Bish, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said: "We welcome announcements about additional support for business and measures to cut red tape. But this must be seen against the imposition of a one per cent increase in employer National Insurance contributions, and a whole raft of new employment laws. These were burdens on our customers as well as on pubs."

Other measures announced include:

  • Corporation tax, small business corporation tax and capital gains tax are being frozen
  • Stamp duty on buying business properties will remain unchanged
  • Insurance premium tax and the climate change levy will be frozen

Income tax rates and tax allowances will remain as set out in last year's Budget and pre-Budget report Mr Brown said he would abolish automatic fines for late paying VAT

3m businesses will qualify for allowances will qualify for extra help to upgrade their IT

There would be new help for British industry and commerce

Related topics Legislation

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