Why the Autumn Statement is so important for jobs

The Chancellor somewhat mistakenly claimed that the UK has almost no unemployment. Whilst we are running at record lows in unemployment statistics the backdrop is far more precarious and the need for a strong, jobs orientated autumn budget has never been more urgently required.

In some sectors the reduction in migrant workers is already leading to skill shortages as it is in key professions such as medicine, engineering and teaching. Look behind this and there are a group of traditional roles in finance, marketing, HR and even sales where there is a scarcity of good, proceedable vacancies. 2017 for many has been a year of look, wait and see and as such the chancellor needs to publish a budget that creates certainty but also a budget that does not impact small companies and sole traders.

What are the signals that we are looking for?

No VAT threshold reduction

So many entrepreneurs make valuable contributions below the VAT threshold and a rise in this level would put a significant break on an element of the economy that often makes such a positive contribution to local communities.

Simplify business rates

For micro and SME’s the business rate changes proposed are punitive and are disproportionate. Simplification and more appropriate scaling would encourage smaller businesses to recruit staff and invest.

Tax breaks on training

Personal development has been in decline for some years. We need a more aggressive tax break incentive to employers and employees to encourage commitment to personal development at a time when real wages are declining.

Most importantly for employers for whom the lurid headlines about tax avoidance apply to only the super wealthy businesses the sense that corporate taxation frameworks will not worsen until at least 2020 will give a clear signal that the government understands the level of uncertainty and reluctance to invest that the business community is experiencing.

Over to you Mr Hammond……with fingers firmly crossed.


Posted: Tuesday 21 November 2017

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