SMEs Call On Chancellor To Increase Infrastructure Investment At Budget

Survey Reveals That Business Also Want Tax Avoidance To Be Tackled


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

A crackdown on tax avoidance and an increase in large scale infrastructure investment top the wish list for SME decision-makers ahead of this week’s Budget announcement.

The Chancellor’s update on the economy on 18th March will come just weeks before Parliament breaks up ahead of campaigning for the General Election on the 7 May.

According to a survey of businesses by national law firm Irwin Mitchell, 27% of those questioned called for George Osborne to step up his activity in relation to tackling tax avoidance. The same proportion of senior decision makers within SMEs across the UK asked for the Chancellor to increase spending on infrastructure.

Next on the priority list was the introduction of tough measures to tackle late payment (10%). This was followed by six per cent who said that they wanted quicker action in relation to reforming business rates.

Other issues which were mentioned by respondents included clearer guidelines in relation to zero hour contracts and greater support in relation to developing export strategies.

Steve Beahan, A Partner at Irwin Mitchell and specialist in the SME sector, said:

Expert Opinion
This will be a key announcement and many organisations will be listening closely to what the Chancellor is planning to deliver for businesses, as well as how the opposition parties respond.

“Despite the economy being in better shape since the last General Election, many business leaders are keen to know from the political parties what they plan to do in order to support the development and growth of their organisation.”

“It’s perhaps no surprise that infrastructure investment is at the top of the agenda for many SMEs and this probably echoes what many larger businesses are saying too. Large scale infrastructure plans have the potential to provide significant and long-term opportunities for SMEs and it is encouraging that many think that they will be able to take advantage.

“Not only are there supply chain opportunities, the benefits to regional and national economies of improved connections and reliability are well-recognised. Money needs to be spent wisely though and be joined up with close collaboration between local and central government.”
Steven Beahan, Partner