ARTICLES


  • Stability for Business

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    30 March 2018

    Before entering politics I spent 25 years growing and developing my own business. I look back on those times as amongst the most important of my life. Entrepreneurship gave me a strong sense of personal achievement – growing an enterprise from scratch is a major challenge - but it also provided me with a critical insight into what really matters today to the millions of small and medium sized businesses right up and down our country and right across Central Devon who face many of the same issues that I did. So since becoming a Treasury Minister I have focused hard on ensuring that we do whatever we can to free-up and incentivise entrepreneurship in order to help our businesses create jobs and the wealth that in turn generates the taxes that fund our vital public services.
    Early on at the Treasury I pressed hard for further relief from Business Rates and recently took through the legislation that will see an additional £2.3 billion of relief for businesses. Where businesses felt the pace of change was too rapid, such as in the case of the digitisation of our tax system (Making Tax Digital) I provided a vital pause so that business has more time to prepare. We have taken many other important decisions of course - we have continued to drive forward R&D with enhanced tax incentives, we have progressively reduced corporation tax rates for companies of all sizes and supported innovation and high growth investment through key reforms to our venture capital investment regime. But in order to sustain a great business environment we need to do even more to ensure that government reduces burdens on business and provides a clear and competitive tax environment. We also need to provide as much certainty to businesses as we can and to make sure that legislation is as fully thought through and effective as possible. This is why the move this year to holding a single fiscal event is so important. Until now the UK has been the only major advanced economy that has created additional complexity and uncertainty for people and businesses by announcing dozens of tax changes twice a year. There have been 41 fiscal events with tax or spending changes in the UK since July 1997 whereas Canada has had only 20 budgets in that time. So, while this year’s Autumn Budget will be a major fiscal set piece complete with significant announcements on taxation and spending – the recent Spring Statement was far lower key. Those who were expecting major fiscal and policy announcements or another Red Book to plough through were disappointed, but businesses, in their millions rejoiced. The Spring Statement looked to the future but avoided immediate change, leaving businesses free to concentrate on what they do best: developing the products and services customers want. We will continue to vigorously press forward with our existing policies to drive productivity and growth. But sometimes when it comes to tax changes, less is more. Twitter @MelJStride







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