Opinion Former Article

FSB: Small businesses must have a say on how their taxes are spent

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has expressed concern that the incoming Business Rate Supplements Bill will impose extra tax burdens on businesses and has suggested a series of amendments to soften the blow of the legislation.

In particular the FSB is arguing that small businesses must have a say on all projects to be subsidised by a tax brought in by the Business Rate Supplements Bill.

The new tax is currently being considered by a Public Bills Committee and the FSB is looking for guarantees that the supplement will only be spent on economic development; that businesses will be consulted and have a vote on all supplements followed by an independent review on how the money is spent; that the public sector will also contribute; properties liable for business rates with a rateable value of £50,000 or less will be exempt; and the £50,000 threshold will be reconsidered once the property market improves.

FSB National Chairman John Wright said:

"Cashflow is king for small businesses who want to hold on to and train their staff- and grow their enterprises during these recessionary times. With small business failures entering their hundreds each day and taking thousands of jobs with them, it seems counterproductive to introduce a new tax.

"However, if business owners are to pay this supplement it is important that they have a say on where it goes. This revenue must be ring-fenced for economic development rather than to shore up Government infrastructure projects and local council budgets.

"There must be safeguards in this legislation to ensure the small business community is represented and can benefit from this supplement."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. The FSB is the UK's leading business organisation with over 215,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the self-employed, and all those who run their own business. More information is available at http://www.fsb.org.uk.

Contacts:
Stephen Alambritis: 020 7592 8112 / 07788 422155
Sophie Kummer: 020 7592 8128 / 07917 628 998
Prue Watson: 020 7592 8121 / 07825 125695
Marc Shoffman: 020 7592 8113 / 07595 067068

For regional FSB contacts please go to www.fsb.org.uk/regions

More Articles by Federation of Small Businesses ...

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