Budget 2017: What small businesses would like to see

OK, so the government isn't going to pay any attention to me writing a blog post .. BUT, I've asked around and there are some definite themes about what small businesses would like to see in the budget on Wednesday.

Start up help

Starting a business is hard, it requires ideas, hard work, dedication and cash .. and that is where help is needed. More access to grants and loans to assist start up ventures across the whole country and whole population.  It is appreciated that these cannot be given out "willy-nilly" and that there needs to be an application and approval process involved but currently accessing much needed funds to get good ideas off the ground can be soul-destroying. 

Business rates

You can't help but have seen the mess business rates are in with some big businesses about to see massive reductions and small businesses seeing rate increases.  The system has been due an overhaul but this doesn't appear to be fit for purpose either.  A full review of the system is needed so that it is fair and proportionate. 

Corporation tax

The rates of corporation tax are meant to be coming down over the next few years, this is obviously of benefit to small businesses.  However, frustration still remains over the manipulation of profits by the massive companies who appear to pay very little corporation tax when small businesses continue to pay their share.  Historically there were different rates of Corporation Tax based on levels of profits, whilst it is unlikely that the Government is going to go back to this the anti-avoidance measures need to be tightened up and how profits of multi-nationals are attributed to the countries that they operate in clearly defined.

Mileage rates

The current rules are that you can claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 business miles in a tax year and 25p per mile for any business miles above this.  These rates have been unchanged for about 6 years.  These rates are set to cover the fuel cost but also the cost of running the car (service costs, maintenance costs, MOT etc) and none of these costs have stayed static and as such a review of these rates is desperately needed. 

Working from home

The government amended the flat rate allowances for working from home last year however, the system is still considered to be out of date and out of touch with reality.  The option to calculate the actual cost does remain available but many don't do this as it is more complicated and can seem scary.  Setting realistic rates for the costs people occur due to working from home would be a good move and help keep micro-businesses on side. 

Child care support

Tax free childcare and the childcare vouchers system is complicated and not everyone claims for this, an allowance that is paid direct by the government to the childcare provider would be far easier to operate and monitor.  Hidden childcare support needs more acknowledgement and how to help fund and support this too .. i.e. grandparent help etc. 

Free nursery hours currently do not run for the full year and having access to this for a full year would provide working parents with more flexibility and the ability to plan ahead properly. 

Budget day

The budget is on Wednesday 8 March and our budget summary will be available for download on Thursday. 

Rachael Savage