‘Slim pickings’ for Scottish small businesses in UK Budget

'Slim pickings' for Scottish small businesses in UK Budget

Andrew McRae

There is little of benefit to Scottish small businesses in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today set out plans for £150 billion in additional spending across the UK, including £150m for Scottish businesses through the British Business Bank. Fuel duty and spirit duty remain frozen.

However, Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “There were slim pickings for hard-pressed debt-laden Scottish small businesses in today’s Budget.

“The Chancellor could have reduced payroll taxes or taken the edge off non-domestic energy bills. However, Scotland’s local and independent firms struggling under the weight of Covid debt and spiralling utility costs won’t have heard much from the Chancellor that will help them balance the books.

“Plans to reform alcohol taxes and freeze fuel duty will be welcomed by some in business. And moves to deliver a poundage freeze and provide hospitality firms in England with enhanced rates relief next year gives Holyrood some policy options.

“However many firms in Scotland, after enduring repeated public health shutdowns, will wonder how this Budget addresses the problems they’re facing today.”

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