Budget 2012: Employer NI holiday would help owner managed businesses

 

Damian Walmsley, partner at Moore and Smalley, calls for a National Insurance holiday to help owner managed businesses as well as targeted help for the construction sector.

 

The Government has made it clear it intends to stick to its deficit reduction plan and so this is likely to be another Budget without major concessions.

 

However, the Chancellor has to find a way of stimulating growth in the jobs market and I believe one of the ways he could do this is to offer an employers’ National Insurance contributions holiday for small firms creating new jobs. A similar measure to this announced in last year’s Budget only applied to new companies, but there aren’t many start-ups that employ people in their first year anyway.

 

If this measure was opened up to existing small firms it would ease their tax burden and I think we would start to see a greater willingness to invest in new staff.

 

Looking at specific sectors, if there’s one area that needs further targeted help it’s the property and construction which continues to be hampered by funding problems.

 

The Government has previously announced measures to help first-time buyers and housing developers with the new-build indemnity scheme, while the ‘Growing Places’ and ‘Get Britain Building’ funds are a welcome step in the right direction.

 

Despite this, many property firms are still being crippled by a lack of available finance with many banks unwilling to support property lending. I appreciate the banks are in a difficult position being told to recapitalise their balance sheets on one hand, and to lend more on the other.

 

I think the Government has to come up with a way of giving banks to the confidence to support property and thus help the thousands of developers and contractors out there who are ready and willing to build.