Ian Cass, Managing Director of the national small employer organisation The Forum of Private Business, has responded to today’s Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, George Osborne:

“The Forum was pleasantly surprised by the budget.

There were a number of positive aspects of the budget, most notably the 50% increase in infrastructure capital spend and the focus on skills, The continued deficit reduction was something that the Forum wanted to see continue at a similar rate. Small business rate relief for a further year is also welcome although giving 100% of business rates raised locally may starve the rest of English Authorities of resources as London has 30% of the country’s rateable land.

I am disappointed that the Forum’s views that HMRC should offer a wide variety of tax payment options for small businesses based on their needs rather than pushing them down the digital route. I am however relieved that the hourly level of the living wage has not been accelerated to avoid tax credit reductions.

However the devil will be in the detail as tax avoidance schemes may lead to increased costs on small businesses and we do not yet know what the 17% of reduction in the budget department of Business Innovation and Skill will mean for Britain's 1.3 million employers. “

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.