East Anglia: One in three of region’s SMEs back cut in VAT to boost economy, survey reveals

Mike Randall, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance

Mike Randall, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance - Credit: Archant

NEARLY one third of businesses in East Anglia believe a cut in taxes is vital to encourage growth and get the economy back on track, according to a new survey.

The latest Close Brothers Business Barometer indicates that 31% of SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) owner managers wanted to see a cut in VAT in the last Budget.

However, while the registration threshold increased modestly, from £77,000 to £79,000, the standard VAT rate remained unchanged at 20%.

The survey also found that 28% of local business owners are in favour of cutting Income Tax to help boost disposable income and increase capital spending power.

Mike Randall, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance, said: “Business owners are looking for measures that will stimulate growth and drive the economy forward.

“Trading conditions remain very tough for small firms, but they are resilient. In fact, our barometer shows that nearly a quarter of SMEs in East Anglia have plans for expansion in the next 12 months.

“However, to achieve their full potential, firms must ensure they have a carefully considered financial strategy in place to facilitate these plans for growth. It is more important than ever that credit flows to businesses and that they understand that there are a number of smart funding options they can utilise.

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“We are trying to raise awareness of how asset finance can help to facilitate investment for growth.”

: : The Close Brothers Business Barometer is carried out independently by Lightspeed Research on a quarterly basis. It canvasses the opinion of around 500 SME owner managers across the UK and Ireland on a range of issues affecting their business.