SME owners demand less tax pressure

UK business owners are calling on the government to reduce the tax burden in a bid to stimulate growth, research finds.

According to the latest biannual SME Trends Index of 400 managing directors by independent commercial finance broker Hilton-Baird, 59 per cent place tax cuts highest on their wish list.

This figure consists of those hoping the coalition reduces VAT (30 per cent), corporation tax (15 per cent) and income tax (14 per cent).

A further 16 per cent believe that new government funding initiatives would most help their business.

When it comes to business confidence, two thirds of businesses (67 per cent) believe the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future economic prospects is leading to the ongoing lack of consumer and business confidence.

Other key factors that are highlighted include falling disposable incomes (46 per cent), negative media coverage (45 per cent) and the ongoing Eurozone crisis (44 per cent).

A further 43 per cent state a lack of available funding is leading to reduced confidence, with only 34 per cent having secured new funding facilities in the last six months.

Evette Orams, managing director of Hilton-Baird says, ‘The latest SME Trends Index shows that UK businesses have declared in no uncertain terms that high taxes are prohibitive to their quest for stability and growth.

‘VAT has increased under this government, as has income tax for the highest earners, in an understandable effort to keep the deficit under control. However, it is clear that this is impacting adversely on their demand for goods and thus business growth.’

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