As the government prepares to launch a new £3bn a year loan scheme for small and medium-sized businesses this week, a new survey of MPs commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) shows that almost two-thirds of those surveyed want more support for SMEs to cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis.
When asked if the government should ‘provide new and targeted assistance to the 5m small businesses who are the lifeblood of the British economy and are facing unprecedented financial pressures’, more than half (52%) of MPs agreed, with an additional 13% stating that they ‘strongly agreed’. 22% neither agreed or disagreed, 7% disagreed and 6% answered ‘don’t know’.
Phil Hall, Head of Public Affairs & Public Policy, AAT, said: “The £15bn cost of living support package announced by the Chancellor in May was welcomed by many but had a glaring omission – there was no help at all for small businesses. With a recession on the horizon, company insolvencies increasing dramatically and small and medium-sized businesses across the UK struggling, it’s essential that the government provides some additional assistance for SMEs. It’s great that almost two thirds of MPs agree but we need this recognition to translate into action – and soon.”
Additionally, recent AAT research published last month showed that small businesses themselves would also welcome additional, immediate support from the government. When asked which policies would help their small business now, many small business owners favoured immediate help in the form of lower National Insurance contributions, lower Corporation Tax and wider availability of cash grants.
AAT Licensed Accountants continue to help over 600,000 individuals and SMEs by working to ensure they receive the correct amount of tax reliefs and exemptions, that they are aware of HMRC’s flexible Time to Pay arrangements and various other forms of assistance and by offering other general business and tax advice wherever possible.