Responding to the latest labour market figures and productivity statistics from the Office for National Statistics, Federation of Small Businesses National chair Mike Cherry, said: “It’s welcome news to see the labour market continuing to grow along with productivity which has fluctuated for some time.
“But there was no growth in labour productivity per worker in the final quarter of 2019, which illustrates why this shouldn’t be a time for complacency. Small firms have been desperate for certainty for years, and will look to the upcoming Budget as an opportunity to help them grow and succeed.
“After years in the doldrums, the new Chancellor must illustrate his support for the small businesses that form the backbone of the British economy.
“It’s vital that the cost of doing business, specifically when it comes to business rates, protecting incentives to grow, and accelerating the delivery of key infrastructure commitments are delivered sooner rather than later.
“These figures also revealed a sizeable 3.6 percent increase in the numbers of self-employed people in the UK, people that have set themselves up in business. These individuals will be looking for a Budget that shows this Government is on their side, including launching the pledged review of self-employed access to pensions and mortgages, and the results of the investigation into IR35 which they hope will see a delay in the roll-out from April.”