HMRC accused of tipping businesses over the edge

Justine Greening MP

Tory shadow economic secretary and accountant Justine Greening has accused
Revenue and Customs of being poised to triple the number of businesses it sends
crashing into bankruptcy.

She revealed figures from HMRC showing the number of companies going into

administration owing money to the tax authorities ‘is on course to more than
double’ from 2,300 in 2007-08 to over 5,300 in 2008-09 on top of a Federation of
Small Business survey showing 75% of small business owners and managers in
London have seen no improvement or a worsening in the time taken for the public
sector to pay its bills.

Greening commented: ‘At the very time small businesses need the most help the
Government is actually driving them under, hastening the rapid increase in
bankruptcies. Ministers should be doing all they can to help businesses stay
afloat during this difficult time.

‘That is why the Conservatives have proposed a £10 billion scheme which would
allow SMEs to delay paying their VAT bills for up to six months, and a National
Loan Guarantee Scheme to get credit moving to businesses.’

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