With another general election around the corner, 3 years after the Brexit referendum, businesses across the country are hoping for an end to the uncertainty surrounding the UK government and its future. The economy has taken a hit in recent times, due to poor productivity and a lack of investing as sectors hold back until Brexit is clearer.
Whatever the outcome of the general election, there are key areas that business leaders and other business groups are hoping to see a change in. In our latest blog, we look at 5 areas that businesses are hoping will be addressed by the next government, including:
- Business incentives
- Business rates
Just like the rest of the country, many business owners are hoping for an end to the negotiations and an agreement be made to leave the EU. A lot of businesses have strong opinions on what a Brexit deal should look like, with the general consensus being an arrangement as close to the status quo. In particular, businesses wants to see regulatory alignment for those sectors that trade with the EU.
The issue of immigration is key for UK businesses; the country needs a business-friendly migration policy which can allow businesses to hire those from overseas. Skill shortages in industries mean that businesses will have to look to other countries to provide the talent where necessary.
Many businesses are concerned over the seemingly lack of training and education opportunities, which has only added to the low productivity in the wake of the Brexit referendum. Businesses have hinted at wanting greater investment at all levels of education, but even more, they want a reform of the apprenticeship levy.
The apprenticeship levy is a tax on UK employers to fund workplace training. There have been complaints that the money isn’t being used as efficiently as it could be.
In a poll by the Institute of Directors, almost half of members want to see business incentives in order to boost investment prospects. Things like tax relief and other incentives are being pushed for, in order to support business’ ambitions to grow and invest in new technology.
The Federation of Small Businesses wants the £3,000 annual cap on the national insurance bills discount to be increased to £13,000. This is to help businesses take on new staff. In particular, small businesses are at the most risk from the prolonged uncertainty of Brexit, due to having smaller budgets and smaller incomes.
There are additional calls for initiatives to be rolled out that will allow small businesses to receive grants, in order to invest in digital technologies and prepare themselves sufficiently for the future.
One of the biggest gripes across many businesses is business rates. Business rates is a tax on property, that has affected industries like retailers and manufacturers. Many have argued that business rates have been a contributing factor to the decline of the high street.
The Federation of Small Businesses has called for a major reduction in business rates for smaller firms, as many believe it is an unfair tax that hits businesses before they have had chance to make any turnover.
Finally, as with most of the general public, businesses want to see improvements in the country’s roads and rail networks. Many businesses and business groups want to see more emphasis on the likes of Heathrow’s third runway and the HS2.
Business leaders also want the government to push to improve broadband speeds, investing in new infrastructure like 5G networks.
Posted on November 18, 2019 | brexit, election, business