Monday 10 February 2020 12:01 am

CBI and Institute of Directors call for small business focus in budget

Two of the UK’s leading business advocacy groups have urged the government to increase private sector investment and slash red tape in next month’s budget to help small businesses.

The CBI unveiled its budget submission to the Treasury today, urging the government to review business rates and the apprenticeship levy, commit to building HS2 in full, increase R and D tax credits and increase skills investment across all the regions.

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The advocacy group said “private sector investment that will lift productivity” should be chancellor Sajid Javid’s priority.

CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn added: “This historic budget offers the chance to turn rising optimism into a surge in investment across the UK.

“Backed by a pro-enterprise Budget for skills, infrastructure and innovation, business can help kickstart a new decade of UK growth and job creation.”

The Institute of Directors (IOD) also submitted its budget wish list today, calling for an increase in investment for “scale-ups and start-ups”, the creation of tax incentives for growing small to medium enterprises, a delay of the touted digital services tax and investment into “regional business support hubs”.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the IOD, said Javid’s budget had an opportunity to set out a long-term path for the British economy.

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“The Prime Minister has talked about ‘levelling up’ the regions,” he said.

“Long-overdue upgrades to broadband, rail and roads will be crucial, but the Government also needs to create the conditions for companies to take risks and innovate today to raise our game on productivity and sustainability.”