Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has expressed disappointment that once again Essex is being left out of Government support for businesses following the 2011 Budget today.
Essex FSB Chairman, Iain Wicks, said: “In last year’s Budget Essex businesses were discriminated against when they excluded from the National Insurance Contribution holiday which allows small businesses to take on extra staff without paying NIC.
“In this year’s Budget Essex is again discriminated against with the proposed Enterprise Zones all being outside the South East despite the very good case for such an Enterprise Zone in the Thames Gateway area where regeneration is very much needed.
“Reductions in Corporation Tax and increase in tax credit levels for research and development are welcome but what must be remembered is that these only benefit businesses making significant profits, for the hundreds of small businesses struggling to keep their heads above water these changes will make no difference.
“The Small Business Rate Holiday extension to October 2012 is good news for businesses in premises with a rateable value below £6,000 but other business still face a five per cent increase in business rates from next week.
“There are some good items in the Budget including the reduction in fuel duty which will help a lot of businesses even though it doesn’t match the increase on fuel by the higher level of VAT which came in to effect in January this year.
“The announcement of axing of regulations and exemption of businesses employing less than four people from new domestic regulations is a welcome move as is the consultation on the plan to merge the PAYE and National Insurance systems which will help simplify the tax regime for employers.
“The extra money for additional apprentice and work experience placements is also welcome as Essex FSB has long said that young people need to develop work skills and that is best done by experiencing the working environment.
“We will look with interest to see what level of funding will be available for these schemes and how they will benefit the 68,000 small businesses in the county.”