FSB poll gives Budget thumbs down

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Most small businesses will be negatively affected by increases in fuel and alcohol duty announced in last week’s Budget, a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed.

The FSB poll of more than 300 firms showed that entrepreneurs heavily criticised the Chancellor’s Budget. Nearly 80% of small businesses estimated that the 2p rise in fuel duty would adversely impact their business and 71% estimated it would cost them up to £30 extra a week. Almost a third said the 2p increase in alcohol duty would have a negative consequence – at a time when five pubs are closing each day.

Almost 70% of small businesses said the Budget had not supported small businesses and over a third (38%) said it would ‘quite negatively’ affect their business.

There was some good news. Over a quarter (29%) of business owners welcomed investment in building projects and also welcomed the extension of the scheme for loss making companies to reclaim tax on profits.

John Walker, national policy chairman, said: “Small businesses are the engine room of the British economy, but they have been choked by the Budget with increases in fuel and alcohol duty incurring extra costs and little to help small firms struggling with cashflow.

“This survey shows that the Chancellor’s Budget  could have gone much further to support small firms and we will be meeting with officials to ensure they do more to help small firms create and retain jobs and can survive and grow in these difficult times.”