By Malcolm Durham, Chairman of FD Solutions

My two front teeth are fine thanks and, whilst it would be nice to have a new knee, what I’d like more is something to bring good cheer to all my readers and anyone else who thinks that positive cashflow for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will get us back to stable and consistent growth.

The autumn statement didn’t do much to cheer me up so maybe I shall have to rely on Santa rather than George Osborne to deliver my gifts? I would like four things please:

1. I still want the EFG to be used to support loans up to £50k to exploit intellectual property in sensibly funded businesses, i.e. those with at least £50k of net assets. I understand that there is still £45m left in the Business Finance Partnership so perhaps this could be used to underwrite this initiative?

2. I’d like there to be a 45% rate of corporation tax on interest received by companies on cash balances above £1m. There is at least £300bn held by larger companies that is not being used to pay creditors and in fact some of them (Sainsbury was one) are increasing their payment terms to 60+ days.

I know that BIS are on the case but until there is a financial imperative to use the cash I fear that such platitudes will change nothing.

3. I’d like tax relief on payments to home helps. Many people are deterred from using their qualifications and returning to work because after paying tax and their nanny they are no better off. It must make economic sense to enable people to use the skills that they have acquired, rather than feel stuck at home, and not restrict it to just the highly paid professionals for whom the sums make sense. Ruby MacGregor-Smith of MITIE suggested something similar in yesterday's Times. Surely two accountants in business can't be wrong?!

4. And please, please, please can Civil Servants reply to my emails? Yet again I have met one, explained my proposition, received an assurance of a response and heard absolutely nothing. Ben Southworth at Tech City I hope you enjoy your Christmas and then come back resolved to reply to all your emails in good time (say 8 hours rather than 8 weeks?).

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