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Poll calls for action

Next government ‘must cut costs of doing business’

Andy WilloxThe next UK Government must lower the cost of doing business and offer fresh help for the self-employed, according to new poll.

Small business owners want action to tackle high business costs (56%) while almost the same number (53%) put a priority on delivering a good Brexit deal.

The survey by the Federation of Small Businesses shows 44% of respondents want action to tackle the problems the self-employed face accessing social security support and pensions.

The poll was conducted in the last fortnight and asked firms to indicate their key issues for the next UK parliamentary term.

About two in five Scottish firms (41%) said that delivering regional growth should be a key priority, with similar proportions urging infrastructure investment (37%) and asking for help to create jobs (34%).

More than a third (34%) of smaller business owners wanted the next UK Government to tackle late payments.

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: Hundreds of thousands of Scots are self-employed or run a small business. More people work for themselves north of the border than work for the NHS. 

“These hardest of hardworking voters are looking for the next UK Government to keep on top of the domestic agenda, as well as deliver a Brexit deal which works for every locality and sector.

“They’re looking for Members of Parliament who recognise the pivotal role that local firms play in economies and communities across the nation.”

 FSB’s recently published General Election manifesto sets out key asks for the next government, including protecting the self-employed from being singled-out for tax grabs, such as higher National Insurance; and helping the self-employed access fair social security support.  

It also urges the next government to freeze fuel duty and insurance premium tax in the next Budget. The campaign group also calls for new measures to curb supply-chain bullying of small suppliers by their big business customers.

Mr Willox, said: “Scottish business owners want governments in our town halls, in Edinburgh and in London to focus on getting our local economies moving again. 

“Our recent in-depth reports looking at the impact of Brexit have demonstrated the big challenges which the next government will face. But there are other issues that need to be tackled if we’re going to help Scotland’s smaller firms deliver sustained economic growth.”


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