21 March 2007, 18:30 PM
  • The chancellor, Gordon Brown has today delivered a political budget, doing little but create more red tape for small businesses to deal with, according to the Forum of Private Business.

Chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, Nick Goulding, said, “The chancellor has used smoke and mirrors to disguise the fact that there is nothing in this budget to support small businesses. In fact the resulting confusion created by some of his initiatives will serve only to increase the red tape burden.”

The chancellor dubbed his budget as one of “prosperity and fairness for families”, but the FPB believes that there was little to achieve the same goals for smaller businesses. The FPB, which represents 25,000 small and medium sized businesses across the UK, says tax cuts aimed at big business will do nothing to ease the burden for the majority of the private sector. The chancellor reduced Corporation Tax from 30 to 28%, but announced that the Corporation Tax for smaller companies will be raised from 20p this year to 22p in 2009.

Mr Goulding says measures will deliver for larger firms not for smaller businesses. “The reduction in the main rate of Corporation Tax will benefit larger firms, not the smaller businesses that make up the majority of the private sector. The changes made for smaller firms will serve only to further burden them.”

The chancellor also announced a scheme with Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, B&Q, Marks and Spencer and the British Retail Consortium to help people complete training and find work. The FPB’s Campaigns Manager, Victoria Carson, said that will add to the unfair competition within the retail sector. “Why does the chancellor find it necessary to support dominant retail chains – they already enjoy the perks of their size and wealth? More attention should have been given to relevant business education in schools.”