New figures from the Office for National Statistics* show that the contribution of non-financial businesses to the UK economy grew 3.9 per cent to £1.2 trillion in the year to 2016. Almost all these businesses (99.6 per cent) are SMEs.
Ahead of the Autumn Budget, National Chairman Mike Cherry says that the figures serve as a timely reminder that the success of the UK economy depends on SMEs.
“Against a backdrop of rising prices, flagging consumer demand and Brexit uncertainty, small business owners are in need of lifelines at the Budget,” Mr Cherry says.
“Small firms are looking for an end to the business rates chaos that’s engulfed them over the last seven months. That starts with bringing forward CPI-indexation to 2018 and ending the ridiculous staircase tax.
“Off the back of a delay to the abolition of Class II National Insurance contributions, we need a Budget that works for the self-employed. An extension of public sector IR35 tax legislation to the private sphere will make an already challenging environment worse.
“The last thing small firms need is new tax grabs and loss of entrepreneurial reliefs at the Budget. No doubt the Treasury will avoid biting the hand that feeds it.”
*ONS, Annual Business Survey, UK non-financial business economy: 2016 provisional results, 9 November 2017
Further reading: SME Adviser Series: SMEs must plan for the future