PKF urges Chancellor to "give us a break"

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) need a period of minimum change to the tax regime for at least three years says accountants and business advisors PKF:

"If the Chancellor is serious about wanting SMEs to thrive, he should leave the private sector alone and concentrate on the public sector in the 17 April Budget. If he wants to meddle, the emphasis should be on keeping the cost base down and removing anomalies such as the differences in the rules for tax and NI."

The news release continues:

"SMEs attach great importance to stability but, in recent years, the Chancellor has made frequent and unpredictable changes to the tax system. This makes forward planning extremely difficult and can deter companies from making investments that are necessary for the future of their business. For example, if a company wants to develop employees by setting them to run a separate company, it can be penalised under the current rules for associated companies."

Sheena Sullivan, PKF tax partner, said, "It is vital to the UK's economic health that SMEs are left alone to get on with running their businesses unhindered. As the main drivers for economic growth, product innovation and job creation in this country, what they need from this Budget is minimum change. If Gordon Brown is determined to make changes, he should look to the public sector".

SME Facts (Provided by PKF)

  • There are 3.7 million SME's in the UK.

  • SMEs employ 55.5% of the private sector workforce and account for 44.7% of business turnover.

  • SMEs employ 12 million people in the UK, three times as many as the FTSE 500.

  • UK SMEs' combined annual turnover is around £1 trillion.
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