Come on, Darling

red box.jpgIf the Treasury got a pound for every time someone says small businesses are the ‘engine’ of the economy, the (£78bn) national debt would be severely reduced.And if it received a pound for every time someone – politician, journalist, speaker – rehashed the same old ‘small firms make up the vast majority of businesses and employ around 60% of the private sector workforce’ figures, we’d be very close to solving world debt.Darling’s pre-Budget report – one of the most hotly anticipated in living memory – made it clear he sees small businesses as one of the most important parts of the economy. Here’s our round-up of what Alistair Darling wants to do for you:

  1. The much-publicised VAT reduction, bringing down VAT from 17.5% to 15% - and encouraging more consumers through your doors.
  2. An increase in the threshold for empty property rate relief to £15,000 – which will, according to Darling, make 70% of all empty properties exempt.
  3. A new tax timetable allowing small firms to spread out the payment of their tax.
  4. An agreement with banks which receive government funding, compelling them to maintain their lending to small businesses at 2007 levels
  5. A £1bn small business finance scheme which will ‘allow businesses to borrow sums from a thousand pounds to a million pounds at more flexible terms than before,’ which, according to Darling, will ‘make lending more affordable and easily accessible’.

“I believe these steps will help businesses through the current difficulties and enable them to invest so they can make the most of opportunities as the global economy recovers,” concluded Darling. We just hope it works...

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