9 March 2017

What did you make of yesterday’s budget?

For me, whilst Phillip Hammond promised a positive budget, it was actually quite anti-business.

The move to reduce taxes for the self-employed is unquestionably a decision which reduces the incentive for risk takers. I appreciate the government’s comments that the decision to be self-employed, to start a business, should not be based on tax but these entrepreneurs are the ones taking risks and the people ultimately creating jobs for others.

It’s these small entrepreneurs that drive the economy and often become the ones who build the SMEs and fast-growing startups we all want to see thriving.

It’s grossly unfair to claim they’re levelling out the tax to balance with employees when employees get so many extra rights like sick pay, holiday, pensions and maternity pay. How much is that worth? I’d be thinking ‘why take the risk?’
It seems like a backwards step and breaks the 2015 Conservative election manifesto pledge that the government would “not raise VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax”
Equally, I take exception to Hammond suggesting that digital businesses are somehow exempt from business rates. Online companies of course still need offices and warehouses. And how are digital businesses and the internet powered? They’re powered by massive data centres, which are also subject to business rates.
In reality this is another move from Westminster that stifles growth for innovative businesses across the whole economy.
At a time when we should be encouraging businesses to grow and be confident despite Brexit uncertainty, I was personally disappointed to see such anti-business measures in yesterday’s budget announcement.
What do you think?

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