Small businesses across Leeds have suffered a lending letdown in the Budget, according to a local tax and accountancy specialist.
Will Swift, who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Horsforth, said:
Despite some welcome news on cutting employer’s National Insurance costs and scrapping planned fuel duty rises, our recent survey* of small businesses showed that access to funding was a top priority for local companies and it will have been a major disappointment that there was no more information on the proposed new Business Bank and vital lending for growth.
We’ll be looking closely at the proposed Growth Vouchers for small businesses and possible extensions to the Funding for Lending Scheme, but hoped to hear much more about lending lifelines for small businesses.
There was also a deafening silence on business rates, which we wanted to see frozen at least and nothing concrete on extending small business rate relief, which is due to come to an end next March. This would be a bitter blow to many business owners.
The new Employment Allowance is a very positive step for Leeds small business owners, however. Cutting up to £2,000 from Employer National Insurance Contributions is a strong incentive for creating new jobs.
Scrapping the planned rise in fuel duty was also a top priority for small businesses in our survey, so this is also very welcome news. For Leeds trades people and service providers who make home visits, their cars and vans are a vital part of their service, not a luxury and they can’t absorb the cost of fuel price increases.
We would have liked to have seen a fairer distribution of the benefits of reducing corporation tax, however. The 20 per cent single rate for all businesses to be introduced in 2015, might well be the lowest business tax of any major economy in the world, but it means that companies with profits of £300,000 pay the same rate as firms with profits of say just £30,000: a sliding scale would be much fairer to the majority of small business owners.
TaxAssist Accountants Horsforth is a local business itself, operating across Leeds and Bradford providing tax and accountancy advice and services to businesses and taxpayers alike.