With George Osborne’s Autumn Statement just hours away, we ask you, the readers of Talk Business magazine and SME owners, what you’re hoping to see from the statement.
“I’m hoping for something a bit bolder and more forward-thinking than we’ve seen previously. Whilst I’m aware of the need for austerity, I think the government could do more to support smaller firms and help them compete with larger corporations. The suggested reform of business rates would go some way towards achieving this. Anything hampering investment and innovation is an obstacle that needs removing. Innovation is at the heart of the British economy and our SMEs are a huge part of that, creating jobs and sustaining their own growth through developing new products”
Lawrence Jones, founder and CEO of Manchester technology company UKFast
“We need less red tape and more action against the mega corporations. With 1% of the population holding 50% of UK wealth how much further can you keep squeezing the middle? Property, land, and old money needs to take a hit and redress the balance. We are not going to be able to bridge the gap between those who can pay tax and those who should pay more tax unless there is a radical shake up. It has to come from the private sector. Why should companies have bigger cash reserves than countries?”
Steve Ruffley, chief market strategist at InterTrader
“I’d like to see an expansion of the commitment and investment in repairing the UK’s technology skills gap. Tech City UK recently launched a Digital Business Academy – the world’s first government-funded digital skills course – but reports suggest that the economy will require an additional 745,000 digitally skilled workers in the UK by 2017, so much more needs to be done. Whilst we’re seeing an increasing focus on training school students for the future, the Government should do more to skill-up the entry-level workforce now.”
Adam Ludwin, co-founder and CVO of Captify
“Broadband investment is a subject that is often talked about and yet very little ever seems to be done. Year after year, Britain is slipping outside the top 10 nations for internet speed and isn’t really of the quality you would expect in this day and age and the resources we have available. People in other countries find it astounding when they come over and can’t do their business in certain areas of the country.”
“I believe the government could take heed from the entertainment sector in terms of innovation. The Dragon’s Den concept of people competing for investment encourages an entrepreneurial spirit and a culture of innovation. I think with start-ups and smaller businesses, there should be greater practical support available. Educating such entrepreneurs and small business owners how to operate away from the UK and just what it takes to be successful.”
Jason Downes, managing director of Powwownow
“As an organisation that works extensively with the construction sector, we would like to see measures to stimulate more investment in infrastructure and housing. The kinds of businesses we work with need access to capital to prosper so we would certainly support another prediction that would make it easier to get tax relief on venture capital.
We also support the CBI’s idea that the Annual Investment Allowance for small businesses should rise to £250,000 after January 2016, providing tax benefits to encourage business investment in new plants and machinery. An overhaul of the rates system is also long overdue.”
Clive Ormerod, managing director of OMS
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement begins at 12:30pm GMT.