Budget 2013: Further tax cuts the ticket to growth for SMEs

I would like to hear the chancellor make announcements to help owner managed businesses in a more straightforward manner, such as a cut in the lower corporation tax rate, or tax rates on unincorporated business profits.


Measures to make it easier for smaller firms to employ new staff would be welcome – including a cut in employer’s national insurance contributions.


The much-talked-about £10,000 personal allowance will probably be announced for tax year 2014/15 and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of the top rate of corporation tax being reduced to 20 per cent.


There will no doubt be yet more rhetoric on clamping down on tax avoidance, but how effective the measures are will remain to be seen. There will be the usual attacks on alcohol and cigarettes, but fuel duty could escape again, which would be good news for owner managers with motor fleets and company vehicles.


Overall, there won’t be any wholesale changes to the chancellor’s austerity programme, but expect some further commitment to spend on big infrastructure projects.


While these don’t directly affect SMEs, they do tend to stimulate the wider economy – for example the long-awaited Heysham-M6 bypass is expected to create a significant number of local jobs.