There were some promising points for small businesses in today’s Spring Statement from Philip Hammond.
The Chancellor announced plans to bring forward the next business rates revaluation from 2022 to 2021 and announced plans to help the least productive businesses progress.
He also outlined measures to eliminate overdue payments to small businesses.
Responding to today’s Spring Statement, the National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, said:
“The Chancellor is absolutely right to commit the government to eliminate the scourge of late payments, which place cruel financial pressure on more than eight out of ten small businesses. The poor treatment of smaller suppliers by many bigger companies is both unacceptable and holds back growth and productivity.
“It also poses a danger to supply chains, as the fallout from Carillion’s collapse showed. Philip Hammond’s words must now be followed by real action.
“The Chancellor explicitly put himself on the side of the UK’s millions of small businesses and self-employed. It is important that other measures are not implemented in a way which would undermine that.
“FSB called for more regular Business Rates revaluations, but they must be achieved without putting extra administrative burdens on small firms, such as self-assessments. Crucially, this change does not obviate the need for fundamental reform of a tax that bears no relation to the ability to pay.”
Additional points raised by the Chancellor included:
· Revised growth forecast up from 1.4% to 1.5%
· Borrowing forecast down from £49.9bn to £45.2bn
· Debt forecast to fall as a share of GDP
· Public spending and investment set to increase
· £20m pot of funds available for businesses and universities to stimulate new thinking on plastic waste
· Government is seeking views on paying with cash considering more people are using digital payments