Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Mark Sismey-Durrant, chief executive officer at Hampshire Trust Bank, urges the government to lower corporation tax, redirect support to smaller house builders and invest in infrastructure to boost small business confidence.
The Autumn Statement is based on the latest forecasts from the office for budget responsibility for the economy and public finances.
Sismey-Durrant believes that the Autumn Statement should be seen as an opportunity to breath new life into the UK economy and build confidence in Small business owners who have been thrown into uncertainty after Brexit, government cuts and the US presidential election results.
Lowering corporation tax
In order to help stimulate the UK economy, the government should lower corporation tax. A fifth (21 per cent) of SMEs that we spoke to as part of our recent SME Growth Watch report said taxation in general is a key barrier to their business growth. We believe that easing this burden will create improved conditions for future growth.
Redirecting support to smaller house builders
We would like to see increased support for the housing market and smaller SME house builders in particular. Support to date has focused on larger house builders, but we think it is time for the large numbers of smaller SME house builders to be given a boost – so much of this translates into wider economic benefit to boost small business confidence.
Investment in infrastructure
Increasing investment in road and rail infrastructure projects will help to boost the economy at a local as well as national level. Our recent SME Growth Watch report found that contributions to the economy from SMEs in Leeds and Manchester are forecast to grow by 15 per cent from 2015 to 2020, compared to 10 per cent growth in value add in London over the same time period. It is important that we improve infrastructure across the country, as this will help make it easier for SMEs to do business with each other and cut work travel times.