By Francesca James

The Chancellor is expected to unveil a grim prospect for the UK economy in his Autumn Statement later today. With borrowing expected to be far higher, and growth far lower, than the government had planned for, the Chancellor may be forced to admit he is missing his own deficit and debt targets. He may announce that the UK is looking forward to a sustained period of austerity lasting until 2018.

Serial entrepreneur Dan Wagner, CEO and Chairman of mPowa, said: “This is not good news for UK business and the UK economy. It will impact on businesses’ confidence and willingness to invest and expand. Another six years of austerity is likely to have an enormous knock-on effect as companies lack conditions favourable for growth. Inevitably this will have a negative impact on job creation. Instead of providing the impetus for revival, I fear this will perpetuate a cycle of weak growth or stagnation.”

Much of the UK economy rests on small and medium-sized businesses. SMEs are responsible for over 50% of new jobs created in the UK and make up over 70% of the private sector.

Dan continues: “The economic recovery of the UK hinges on investment in start-ups and SMEs. The UK has many small and medium-sized companies which have the potential to become world-class enterprises, and many firms are expanding, investing and creating jobs. However, very much more needs to be done to support our wealth creators of tomorrow in their efforts to build enterprises fit to compete and succeed in a global market-place.”

Dan concludes:”While many businesses in the UK remain ambitious, determined and resilient, policy makers must recognise they need to foster the conditions which will allow them to expand and flourish. We need to do far more than is presently being done to stimulate growth and support investment in growing companies. Rather than a shot in the arm for enterprise UK, this Statement risks missing a crucial opportunity to keep successful companies in the UK rather than losing them to economic environments more favourable to growth than the one currently obtaining in the UK.”