By Daniel Hunter
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warmly welcomed the Government's moves to create an employer's allowance which will mean small businesses will not have to pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) under £2,000, calling it a bold move from the Chancellor.
The FSB believes this will give small firms the confidence to create thousands of new jobs in the private sector, get the economy moving. It is pleased the Chancellor has taken on board a number of its key recommendations.
"The FSB asked for a budget for small businesses and this is what has been delivered. This Budget opens the door for small firms to grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has pulled out all the stops with a wide-ranging package of measures to support small firms," John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said.
"FSB says the housing initiative will help reinvigorate the construction sector in which many of our members operate and where confidence has been low. The National Insurance Contributions (NICs) cut goes beyond what we were asking for and we are pleased to see the 3p fuel duty rise due in September completely scrapped. We now look forward to hearing details on how the Government intends to take forward the Business Bank that will help provide much needed access to capital for small firms.
"The FSB has advocated an extension to the current NICs holiday scheme for some time. We are pleased that the Chancellor has gone further and has completely taken out some employers from paying National Insurance at all. This will help businesses that are wary of the cost of employment to take on staff and help those that currently employ free up funds to expand their business. We estimated that extending the NICs holiday would create 45,000 jobs, this move has the potential to create far more than that.
"It is good news for the motorist — be they a business or consumer — that the 3p rise in fuel duty has been cancelled and not postponed. Fuel is consistently one of the main causes of rising overheads for a business, so this will help to at least provide some certainty on these costs for the coming year. With 85 per cent of businesses relying on a vehicle for work, this is welcome news for members.
"The Help to Buy scheme is a bold move from the Chancellor to boost the industry and to get people onto the housing ladder. FSB research has shown that confidence levels in the construction sector have been consistently low. In addition the measure to build 15,000 new homes will give the sector a welcome boost. We hope this will create new jobs and opportunities within the sector and for our members.
"The change to the childcare voucher scheme is welcomed, especially by our self-employed members who have not been able to access the existing scheme. We believe that by increasing the subsidy available and opening the scheme up to more people that it will create a stronger and more flexible workforce. And with ONS figures today showing that 1.14 million women are out of work, we hope this will help them to get back into the workforce."
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