Election tax policies: Where do UK mid-sized businesses stand?

Ahead of the election on 8 June, new research from BDO outlines which policies UK mid-sized businesses believe will support their growth plans in the next year

Mid-sized UK businesses “overwhelmingly” support Conservative tax policies for business growth, according to research by top 10 firm BDO.

73% of businesses surveyed responded that the Conservative tax policies would be most conducive to their growth goals over the next year, compared with 11% supporting Liberal Democrat policies and 7% supporting Labour’s.

Furthermore, when surveyed on which party would be best suited to lead Brexit negotiations and ensure the best deal for businesses, 70% of mid-sized businesses backed Conservative leadership.

In spite of a turbulent year for the UK’s political and economic landscape, these results are consistent with business opinion from the 2015 general election. 76% of businesses responded that their opinion on which political party was most likely to boost business growth had not changed.

Among other policies, the Conservative manifesto reaffirmed the party’s intention to reduce corporation tax from the current 19% to 17%, compared with Labour’s policy to raise it to 26%.

With Brexit negotiations on the horizon, businesses are chiefly concerned with policies to boost growth and encourage a thriving economy. Specifically, top concerns for businesses were to simplify the UK tax structure (35% of respondents), improve access to skills (22%) and investment in infrastructure (21%).

Despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, mid-sized businesses have thus far remained stable and optimistic. Paul Eagland, managing partner at BDO, commented: “Whatever the result, the forthcoming general election brings an opportunity to engage with the UK’s high-growth businesses and draw on their natural energy, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit to help the UK succeed in a new, post-Brexit economy.

“What is clear now is that these businesses are strong and optimistic; but to continue to withstand tremors of a changing world and meet their high-growth targets, they need to be at the heart of policymakers’ plans and receive real government support.”

Last month, BDO released a report calling mid-sized businesses “the UK’s economic engine” and encouraged the government to support them through policy to ensure a strong post-Brexit economy.

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