The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published its Autumn Budget wishlist, outlining a range of measures that it believes will help the UK to ‘grow its way out of austerity’.
The business group has highlighted a host of strategies, designed to fuel business investment, spur innovation and promote competitiveness in the UK tax system.
It has called for the government to ensure that business rates ‘incentivise productive investment’, redesign the Apprenticeship Levy to ‘boost productivity growth’ and outline long-term plans for Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) and the corporation tax surcharge, with a view to phasing this out over time.
The CBI has also called for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to be ‘properly resourced’ to ensure that the correct amount of tax is paid at the right time, in order to allow business owners to concentrate on running their business.
In terms of infrastructure, the CBI has urged the government to ‘immediately distribute’ the £490 million Spring Budget pledge to help ‘improve local infrastructure networks’.
Commenting on the submission, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, said: ‘Faltering consumer and business confidence risks lowering living standards, so it’s important the government sends firms the right signals they need to continue investing and growing.
‘Ministers need to build on the basics to get our economy in shape for the challenges ahead by demonstrating a continuing commitment to free markets, a pro-enterprise environment and maintaining a relentless focus on the drivers of productivity.’
The UK economy has started to slow following ‘impressive growth’ at the end of 2016, according to the latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the UK’s services sector.
The services PMI for February fell to 53.3 from a figure of 54.5 in January, representing a five-month low. Despite this, it remains above the threshold that separates growth from contraction: a PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction.
A ‘softer pace of business growth’ and weaker consumer spending have contributed to the slowdown.
Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, commented: ‘A further slowdown in UK business activity growth in February adds to the evidence that the economy has lost momentum after the impressive expansion seen at the end of last year.
‘Inflationary pressures remained the highest for six years as firms struggled with rising costs associated with the weak pound, but optimism about the year ahead remained elevated by recent standards.’
Business confidence in the UK rose during the last quarter of 2016, research from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revealed.
Data from the BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey for the fourth and final quarter of 2016 showed that confidence in future turnover, hiring expectations and investment in plant and machinery improved in both the manufacturing and retail sectors.
The improvement comes following a slowdown in domestic sales and orders growth for the services sector in the third quarter of 2016.
However, the survey, which collected information from 7,250 companies, also suggested that profit and turnover confidence is still at a relatively low level, compared to confidence levels over past three years.
Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, commented: ‘Overall, our findings suggest growth will continue in 2017, albeit at a more modest pace.
‘The government must act strongly this year to support investment and improve the business environment – both of which are crucial to boosting business confidence and therefore further growth.’
11 Jul 2014
Research indicates that one in four business owners spend half of their day working on activities such as finance, HR and IT, and are neglecting business operations that could drive growth.
The researchers, Ingenious Britain, also discovered that some of the biggest challenges faced by SMEs are to do with expanding their business and obtaining new clients. Rather than freeing up time to channel into these more challenging tasks, the study found that owners are likely to be drawn into operational responsibilities. Some 70% of owners find it difficult to relinquish control of these jobs and choose to keep the tasks within the business, rather than outsourcing the work. With the more challenging aspects of business often falling to the wayside, experts warn that many SMEs are failing to achieve their maximum potential. We can help you to manage your business processes effectively and maximise any potential growth opportunities – contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
05 Mar 2014
As the 2014 Budget looms closer, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the Government to maintain its focus on enterprise and encouraging small business growth.
According to the organisation, small businesses are increasingly seeking to expand, and the FSB is calling on the Chancellor to support firms in their aspirations.
In its 2014 Budget submission, the FSB calls for the completion of reforms in the banking and energy markets, more targeted Government support for small firms, and reform of the tax system in a bid to support enterprise.
While welcoming the new national insurance Employment Allowance, the FSB warns that any future changes to the National Minimum Wage must reflect economic conditions.
The business group has also called on the Government to boost Community Development Finance Institutions, with the aim of increasing the availability of finance to small firms unable to access finance via the banks.
John Allan, National Chairman of the FSB, said, ‘With the recovery underway it is important that businesses begin to feel the measures already announced are having a positive effect on their business. This is why the Chancellor should look at ‘focus and delivery’ for initiatives already announced to create long-term growth’.
‘The focus now needs to be on addressing fundamental structural issues. Getting more competition and transparency in key sectors such as energy and financial services will greatly help small firms.’
The Budget will be presented on Wednesday 19 March.
We can help with all of your business needs, including raising finance. Please contact us for further assistance.