Budget disappoints small firms despite tax and rate relief measures

Nine out of 10 small businesses were left disappointed by this week’s Budget, a snap poll has revealed.

In a survey of its members, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) found that just 5% believed Alistair Darling’s proposals would create an environment for their businesses to develop. Similarly, 87% said the chancellor’s measures would not increase business and consumer confidence.

Among the measures outlined in the Budget for small businesses were the freeze in capital gains and corporation tax, and a temporary increase in the level of small business rate relief for one year, from October 2010.

But, reflecting widespread anger at the planned hike in national insurance rates from 2011, nearly half (45%) of respondents believed the Budget had a negative impact on employment.

FPB chief executive Phil Orford said: “Smaller firms don’t feel that the chancellor laid the foundations for a better environment in which to do business. At the same time, they’re not taking the Budget too seriously because of the imminent election.”

The FPB said the poll was based on a “few hundred” members.

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