Small Business Community Reacts to Queen’s Speech


Buckingham Palace

Last weeks Queen’s Speech, the first of the new UK coalition Government, was well met from members of the small business community. In particular, the measures that will be taken to safeguard jobs and support the economy have been praised, along with the plans to invest in a high-speed broadband network.

The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has been campaigning for a simplification of the tax system for some time and hopes that any new measures that are implemented will not create an additional burden for small business owners. The reversal of the increase to National Insurance Contributions is estimated to safeguard around 57,000 jobs.

In the newsletter last week we mentioned the importance of broadband to UK businesses. With this in mind, we were pleased to see that the Government spoke of significant investment into a high-speed network. Half of all annual turnover for small businesses now takes place online, so this is clearly a key issue affecting the country. Better broadband, particularly in rural areas, will be vital to ensuring the long-term survival of many small businesses.

The Government also announced plans to remove barriers that might hold back the rise of flexible working. A third of small business employees work part-time already, more than double the amount that work part-time in large companies.

The FSB has praised the Government’s commitment to ensure the future of the Royal Mail and the Post Office network. They are also cautiously optimistic about what the Energy Bill will mean for small business, but will reserve judgement until it is put into practice.

In general, the FSB have concluded that there is very little for SMEs to be concerned about at the moment. Businesses will find out more detail about Government plans on taxation and spending policies when the Chancellor unveils his Budget on June 22nd.

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