Chancellor’s budget ‘great news’ for small businesses

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside No 11 Downing Street, London, before delivering the Budget Statement in the House of Commons: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside No 11 Downing Street, London, before delivering the Budget Statement in the House of Commons: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Today’s budget is a “step in the right direction” for small businesses, according to the boss of MK Chamber of Commerce.

Reacting to news that Chancellor George Osborne will double small business rate relief, the chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “Businesses will cheer measures to cut the burden of business rates, which hundreds of thousands of firms have to pay before they even turn over a single pound.

“More frequent revaluations will be welcomed, too, but only if a simpler system with fewer valuation errors can be delivered.

“We would also have liked to see plant and machinery investments excluded from business rates calculations, so we will be pressing for further action on this and other aspects of the system that discourage investment.

“All in all, the rates reforms are a significant step in the right direction, and we will work closely with the government to ensure that they result in real improvements for long-suffering businesses on the ground.”

The changes will also see 600,000 small businesses paying no business rates at all from April next year, saving them nearly £6,000 a year while a further quarter of a million will see their rates cut, said the Chancellor.

Iain Stewart MP welcomed the changes.

He said: “Today’s budget is great news for small businesses, especially on our high streets like Bletchley and Stony Stratford.

“The permanent business rate relief increase from £6,000 to £15,000 will mean the typical high street retailer will not have to pay any rates at all.

“Around the UK this measure will see 600,000 small businesses paying no business rates from April next year.”