13 May 2015
Tax, the deficit and a pro-business environment are high on the list of expectations businesses have of the new Government, post-election.
Creating a competitive tax regime, lowering the deficit and ensuring a pro-business environment were some of the key expectations from business bodies such as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD), and the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI).
FSB’s members outlined key expectations, which include wanting a sustained economic recovery, a control on public spending and decreased deficit, and lower costs for doing business. Mike Cherry, National Policy Chair at FSB said: ‘what small business want from the new government [is] a supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment in which to grow their business, creating prosperity and jobs’.
The IoD outlined its top priorities over the next five years as being the deficit, public spending, taxes and infrastructure, adding that the prime minister will face big questions on these issues. In particular, the IoD stated that: ‘Balancing the competing interests of his party, the public and the business community will be a real test for the incoming Business Secretary.’
The CBI’s Director General John Cridland said that the new government ‘must create a pro-enterprise environment, by getting the deficit down, continuing to make the UK one of the most competitive tax environments in the G20, especially for medium-sized businesses, and backing the decision of the Airports Commission.’
In addition, the EU referendum is also an issue which is of top concern for businesses, which the CBI touched upon, with Cridland commenting that an EU referendum is now more than likely, and ‘businesses will now want to see an ambitious, achievable reform agenda that will make both the UK and Europe more competitive and prosperous for all’.
He added that the majority of businesses want to remain in a reformed EU, which has the world’s largest market of 500 million consumers.