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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on George Osborne to focus on support for enterprises, introduce business rates reform and simplify taxes in the 2016 Budget Statement.

The FSB’s recent quarterly survey shows small business confidence is cooling in the face of deteriorating global economic headwinds and domestic policy decisions which are coming into force.

In its submission to the Chancellor, the FSB said its members are being tested by a series of significant challenges which will drive up costs and increase burdens over the coming months. These include the introduction of the National Living Wage in April, pension auto-enrolment and changes to the tax treatment of dividends. On top of these, small firms still face an unreformed business rates system and the prospect of compulsory quarterly digital tax reporting.

Three weeks ago, the Chancellor spoke at the FSB's Policy Conference stating he would back small business.

Mike Cherry, policy director at the FSB, said: "In the face of a number of emerging global and domestic pressures, small businesses are looking to the Chancellor to back them through what are set to be challenging times ahead. Many are struggling to get to grips with the cumulative impact of a series of new tax and regulatory changes that are due to hit their business.

"In this climate, it's crucial that the Chancellor uses the Budget to reassure small firms and boost their confidence so that they invest, create jobs and drive economic growth. This means no new major challenges that drive up costs and burdens. In addition, Mr Osborne must deliver on his promises to overhaul the business rates regime and simplifiy the tax system."