Opinion Former Article

FSB: Budget must deliver plans on deficit reduction

The Government must outline robust plans for reducing the UK's budget deficit said 93 per cent of small businesses surveyed in an FSB-ICM poll published today, as the Chancellor announced the emergency budget will take place on 22 June.

The survey, commissioned by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), polled the views of 1,319 members to find out what they would like to see from future budgets to promote business growth and to secure further economic recovery. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents said that a cut in fuel duty would help growth and 36 per cent would like to see an increase in the personal tax threshold.

Just over 40 per cent (41%) of respondents said that the extension to the Time to Pay scheme announced in the last budget would have a positive impact on business prospects and legislation to force big businesses to pay invoices within 30 days would provide a boost for 46 per cent of respondents.

The Chancellor announced the date for the emergency budget today, 17 May, and also announced the creation of an Office for Budget Responsibility, an independent body which will look at the state of public finances. The Government will report how it will make £6 billion in savings over 2010-11 in the next week.

John Walker, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said:

"We welcome the news that the Government will set out a clear spending review in the coming weeks ahead of the Budget as this is an issue of concern to many small business owners. We also welcome the creation of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

"Small firms are keen to see how the Government will tackle the deficit while also ensuring businesses can grow, further strengthening economic recovery. We urge the Government not to place further taxation burdens on small businesses at a time when the recovery is fragile and would like to see measures announced which will promote business growth and encourage employment.

"There are still underlying issues between the banks and small businesses and access to finance and credit. The Government must put pressure on the banks to lend to small firms so that they can get on with the job in hand."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The FSB is the UK's leading business organisation with over 213,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the self-employed, and all those who run their own business. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk

The FSB-ICM 'Voice of Small Business' April Survey was conducted between 21 April and 3 May 2010. The results are based on an online survey of 1,319 respondents of the FSB-ICM panel. The research was conducted by ICM Research and Guided Insight. www.fsb.org.uk/fsb-icm-survey-panel

This is a national release; additional information may be available on a regional basis. For regional FSB contacts please go to www.fsb.org.uk/regions

Contacts

Stephen Alambritis: 020 7592 8112/ 07788 422155

Eric Beech: 020 7592 8128/ 07917 628998 eric.beech@fsb.org.uk

Prue Watson: 020 7592 8121/ 07825 125695 prue.watson@fsb.org.uk

Sara Lee: 020 7592 8113/ 07595 067068 sara.lee@fsb.org.uk

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