The Forum of Private Business slams Darling in his first pre-budget report

Chancellor accused of punishing small businesses

The chancellor of the exchequer has fallen foul of those at The Forum of Private Business, by refusing to give small businesses any concessionary tax rates in his first pre-budget report. Campaigns Manager Matt Hardman even highlighted the prospect of more taxes to come.

"The Chancellor has raised the prospect of Supplementary Business Rates as part of the funding for the Cross Rail project for London," he said. "This is the thin edge of the wedge, as the government looks to make smaller businesses pay yet further."

The Government will soon publish a White Paper outlining proposals, which will allow local authorities to invest in economic development and the improvement of infrastructure through a business rates supplement. Within the Chancellors proposals comes the decision to make all properties worth £50,000 or above subject to the additional tax.

"Our members already pay enough tax, if the principle of a supplementary business rate isn’t opposed where will it stop?" asked Mr Hardman, "In a year’s time when local authorities need more money with the threshold come down? We mustn’t open the door to more levies on smaller businesses."

Chancellor Darling has given larger businesses a tax break by pledging to cut the higher rate of corporation tax to 28p per pound. However, the rate for smaller businesses remains at 22p per pound, the rate set by his predecessor, Gordon Brown.

The belief held by the FPB is that the UK’s 4.1 million small firms are central to the economy and as such should be rewarded with similar tax breaks seen by larger corporations.

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