The 2017 Budget has no boost for small business

23 Nov 2017

Budget has no boost for small business

My quick soundings of 4Networking members about this week’s Budget is a general feeling of being disappointed by the lack of measures designed to boost the fortunes of small businesses in the UK.

My view on it is that there was nothing dramatic in this Budget – and maybe that’s a good thing at the moment. Businesses are facing significant change with both GDPR and Brexit looming, so that putting more financial pressure on them would not be welcome. Equally there was little to make the SME sector feel supported or recognised for the contribution they make to the economy now – and will also make in the months and years to come.

Highlights for 4N members were:

  • No lowering of the VAT threshold.
  • Some support for small housebuilders through the commitment for more housing.
  • Continued support for apprenticeships.
  • A commitment to technology, research and development.

Lowlights were:

  • No extra support for start-ups.
  • No mention of enforcing prompt payment.
  • No support for small companies wanting to export.

The holding of the VAT threshold at £85,000 has had a mixed reception. It’s welcome of course for those who are currently below that threshold, but those who do charge VAT wanted to see the threshold come down so that they are more competitive when quoting for work. However, this threshold promise is only good for two years and it begs the question, “What then?”

Many 4N members were helped by the measures which affect their personal lives – including the so-called Millennial Generation concessions:

  • Abolition of stamp duty for all first-time buyers up to £300K - I believe this will help some of our younger entrepreneurs, although the risk has already been highlighted that a side effect of this will be that house prices will rise, as sellers rush in to benefit also.
  • New railcard for those aged 26 to 30. 
  • Small rise in the personal tax allowance.

Many of our younger members have never owned their own homes and don’t want to remain Generation Rent, so that announcement is welcome for them.

What is your view of The Budget?

Feel free to leave comments below so that we can use 4N as a collective voice to Government about the concerns of smaller businesses.

We are setting up a meeting with the Government’s business team to find out how the views of the SME sector can be better represented, and this will be a great opportunity to raise any issues you may have, so contribute to the debate now!