SME lobby lambasts Chancellor

A survey by SME lobby group the Forum of Private Business has found that
small businesses are bitterly disappointed with the way that Chancellor Gordon
Brown has run the economy.

The FPB, which represents 25,000 small and medium enterprises in the UK,
surveyed 5,000 companies ahead of the next week’s Budget and found that 87% of
the respondents believed Brown had failed to run the economy in a way that
benefited their businesses.

Responding to the results the FPB said that with unemployment rising and
investment low, the Chancellor needed to reconsider his 2002 increase in
employers’ National Insurance Contributions, link further rises in the National
Minimum Wage to the retail price index and increase small business relief
thresholds to match Scottish levels.

The FPB added that its members are ‘angered’ by the excessive insurance
premium rises they are facing, and called on the Chancellor to reduce or abolish
the Insurance Premium Tax.

In a statement the FPB said: ‘The Budget is an opportunity to reinvigorate
the economy by delivering more investment and increasing employment. But to do
this Gordon Brown needs to reduce business taxes, stimulate competition, reduce
administrative burdens and promote investment.’

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