Jobs tax plea
Call for cut in NICs to ease cost pressures on SMEs
Mike Cherry: ‘small firms are facing cost strains’
A small businesses lobby group is urging the UK government to cut national insurance contributions to ease cost pressures on employers.
The call from the FSB came as it reported two-thirds of respondents to a survey said their operating costs had risen over the past year.
Four in ten (43%) cite inputs such as raw materials as a contributor to the rise, while labour (36%), utilities (28%) and fuel (26%) were also commonly flagged.
FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “Small firms are emerging from lockdowns under the strain of spiralling input and shipping costs, skills shortages, new exporting paperwork, emergency debt repayments, rent accruals and business rates.
“The Government should urgently move to mitigate cost pressures by reducing Employer NICs, which are serving as a jobs tax and yet another cost to think about in an environment where finding the right people is a nightmare.
“This Government was elected on a manifesto that rightly promised to cut the jobs tax, and Ministers must rediscover that reformist zeal if they want to unlock growth within the small business community and secure our economic recovery.
“Small businesses didn’t have a chance to make full use of the SME Brexit Support Fund before it closed.
“It should be revamped and relaunched to help our great international-facing firms access the help they need to innovate, hire and grow over the critical months ahead.”