The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on all political parties to avoid targeting the UK’s 4.8 million self-employed with post-election tax rises.
With the General Election approaching, the business group has published its manifesto, ‘Small Business, Big Ambition’, which sets out a number of key steps that it believes the next government should take.
This includes avoiding increases in taxes such as national insurance and offering the self-employed greater recognition in the welfare system by, for example, bringing the Maternity Allowance closer in line with Statutory Maternity Pay.
‘The UK’s army of 4.8 million self-employed are the backbone of this country and should be recognised for the value they add both to the economy and their local communities,’ commented the FSB’s National Chairman, Mike Cherry.
‘Small businesses and the self-employed will be vital to a successful post-Brexit economy. Politicians seeking their votes should be on their side and against hitting them with extra costs.’
With Britain’s departure from the EU likely to dominate much of the political debate, the FSB has also put forward its suggestions for securing a pro-business Brexit. This includes creating small business export vouchers alongside export tax credits, to help small firms trade with new markets for the first time.
However, the FSB warned against overlooking the importance of domestic issues.
‘Brexit is clearly going to feature heavily in the election campaign, and rightly so. But it must not dominate debate at the expense of other important domestic issues for small businesses,’ said Mr Cherry.
‘There are a series of decisions required by new government ministers in their first 100 days in office. From export support to tackling our late payments crisis, to co-funding apprenticeships and a new consensus on the future of business rates, to the survival of small businesses on our high streets and in our communities.
‘Our manifesto sets out what small businesses want to see from all major parties and candidates standing on 8 June. Millions of votes are at stake.’