Chancellor must use Autumn Statement to 'cement commitment to small firms'

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25 Oct 2023

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to use the Autumn Statement on 22 November to 'cement the government's commitment to the small business community' in the UK.

In its Autumn Statement submission to the Chancellor, the FSB called for a 'strong stand' against late payments; an extension to the 75% business rates discount for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses beyond March 2024; and training in new skills to be tax-deductible for the self-employed.

It has also urged for action to be taken to increase housebuilding through the introduction of a new Brownfield Development Relief and new measures to help reduce health-related labour market inactivity.

Martin McTague, National Chair of the FSB, commented: 'This Autumn Statement cannot be business as usual. We need focused action. With inflation barely budging, the Chancellor has a golden opportunity to spur the economic vitality the UK needs.

'We need clear plans to help small businesses grow. Small firms were key to helping the economy bounce back in 2008, and to replicate that, we need to face this issue head on.

'The government must act swiftly to end late payments, extend business rate relief and eliminate the perverse disincentive against acquiring new skills.'