By Lea Pachta

Businesses are being “financially pushed to the brink” and need recognition, according to Clifton Asset Management

The new government should cut taxes on company profits to help kick-start the economy and stimulate small business growth, according to the sector’s owner-managers who have set out their priorities for the new administration.

More than 1,000 UK SME (small to medium sized enterprise) owner-managers took part in the independent survey, commissioned by Clifton Asset Management.

When asked: “What should the new government’s priorities be for owner-managed businesses?” the clear favourite with almost half (40 per cent) was to reduce corporation tax on the first £100,000 of profits.

Next on the list, with 17 per cent, came “a bonfire of red tape”, followed by “more tax relief on capital expenditure to encourage investment” and “extend the holiday on VAT, PAYE etc”, both of which received 13 per cent of the respondents’ votes.

A further 8 per cent believe the new government’s priority should be to abandon Gordon Brown’s keenness for appointing “celebrities”, such as Digby Jones and Alan Sugar, as business ambassadors and 6 per cent called on the new administration to reverse Gordon Brown’s raid on pension values, leaving the remaining 3 per cent undecided.

“This research sends a clear message to the new government that highly-regulated, over-taxed and finance-starved small business owners in the UK are desperate for change,” said Anthony Carty, director at Clifton Asset Management.

“It is staggering when you think that for years small businesses, who are the backbone of the economy, the main wealth-generators and provide the biggest employment sector, have not been receiving the recognition they deserve and are left desperate for any kind of financial carrot.

“On the one hand they are being hammered by the taxman and on the other the banks, despite what we have been told, are still withdrawing funds at a moment’s notice and are still making access to finance in the first place extremely difficult.”

He added: “Every day now at Clifton Asset Management we are hearing from small businesses who financially have been pushed to the brink by this situation and I just hope that the new government will finally take notice and do something about helping the sector.”

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