By Jonathan Davies
The Chancellor's budget is always a closely watched event whether you've got your business eye on it, or the eye of your home life.
And with George Osborne set to deliver the Budget today (Wednesday) we're looking at what YOU want to see from the budget; what is important to your business and what policies you would like to see added, changed or removed.
In Part One and Part Two, technology, company cars, foreign exchange, manufacturing & exports, recruitment & training and funding were all on the agenda.
Simon Hill, MD of idea management firm Wazoku wants to see evidence of an overall vision for UK enterprise in the forthcoming budget:
“This is one of George Osborne’s last opportunities this parliament to show that he has an overall vision for UK enterprise. To this point there has been a lot of talk, but not enough tangible policies that will actually help start-ups. Entrepreneurs and start-ups are the heart of any economy - providing jobs and paying taxes on sales and services. But it feels like there are too many barriers to innovation, particularly with access to finance and on-going cash-flow.”
“There are tentative but encouraging signs of recovery in the overall economy so now is the time to make a commitment to supporting enterprise and perhaps leave a legacy beyond empty words. This could be tax incentives on equity finance or NI relief for start-ups, anything to show this Government is serious about innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Askar Sheibani, Entrepreneurship Champion for Wales, chairman of the Deeside Enterprise Zone, and CEO of telecoms repair and support company Comtek?
“The Chancellor urgently needs to address the current business rates system, which is a completely unmerited way of taxing companies. It takes no account of the success or maturity of the business and is far in excess of that levied in other European countries. As a UK business with operations both here and in the Netherlands, we currently pay thirty times more for our UK business rates than we do abroad, even though the properties are a similar size. Taxes such as these mean less investment in revenue generating activities and ultimately thwart Britain’s ability to compete internationally.
“While the Government has taken steps to lower business rates for some organisations, such as those adhering to specific criteria and located in Enterprise Zones, it must overhaul the entire process. More focus should be on profitability and performance, so as to encourage, rather than hamper, business growth.”
Rupert Lee-Browne, founder & CEO of Caxton FX, the currency exchange business wants better tax incentives for growing businesses.
He said: " “I would like to see the introduction of tax incentives to entrepreneurs that will actively encourage them to grow their businesses rather than sell out.
"Britain's economy depends on the wealth and job creation that our entrepreneurs generate, which is why I am calling for more favourable tax treatment of dividends for founder shareholders that should be given once a company has been running for several years. This will support UK entrepreneurs in their campaign for growth and inspire them to continue building their businesses, in turn generating further wealth and job creation for the nation.”
Drew Thomson, Group CEO, Starcount, the fan science company, is also looking for tax incentives:
“There’s no question the economy is looking up for British entrepreneurs, but we’re still seeing 74 per cent of business owners saying they expect their workforce to stay the same size this year. We need to see George Osborne announce a Budget that really taps into the potential that start-ups have, to provide the UK with a much-needed injection of job creation. I’d like to see the Chancellor bring in more dynamic tax relief for entrepreneurs, tax relief tied not to the company’s value but the number of jobs it creates. It’s also worth pointing out that, as tax incentives stand, small business owners are being actively incentivised to hold onto their equity. What the tax code should be doing is encouraging entrepreneurs to share equity with employees.”
“One of the major problems I’ve encountered is that the kind of entrepreneurial individuals who have the potential to really get the British economy rolling again are finding it impossible to get mortgages because of their ‘self employed’ status. If George Osborne is serious about reinvigorating business and job creation, more pressure needs to be put on banks to provide entrepreneurs with the basic personal security they need to launch their businesses.”
Access to Lending
Shaun Bailey, CEO Jacob Bailey said:
"Implementing new lending schemes to give SMEs the stepping stone required to reach the next stage of business growth will undoubtedly see a boom within the industry. Whilst there are equity lending schemes available, SMEs currently face huge challenges and a whole wrath of hoops to jump through if they want to secure a loan, which is so vital to delivering growth. The government should be looking at alternative lending opportunities and creating a greater level of competition amongst the loan providers, which opens up the window to those SMEs ready to take the next step."
Alistair Bingle, managing director at Bishop’s Move, said:
“The time is right for stamp duty reform. Prior to the Autumn Statement just several months ago, the average cost of a home was £247,693. Now, as The Budget approaches, the average cost has sailed past the £251,000 mark and more first time buyers are being dragged into paying 3pc stamp duty, particularly those in and around London; where the average first home price is currently £276,000. The Budget presents an ideal opportunity for the Government to introduce a stamp duty holiday and a failure to do so, particularly for first time buyers, will undermine the Government's previous attempts to kick-start the property market of which first time buyers play a pivotal role.”
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