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VAT increase was a sensible move, say SMEs

VAT increase was a sensible move, say SMEs

Nearly half of the UK’s SMEs have agreed that the government made the right decision to increase VAT.

Intuit, the producer of QuickBooks financial software, conducted a survey of small business owners and found that 44% support the VAT increase as a means of tackling the fiscal deficit. 13% believe that increasing income tax would have been a more effective alternative.

It also appears that, at least so far, the VAT increase has not had a serious impact on the majority of small businesses. 67% of the survey’s respondents said the rise had not impacted their business.

39% of SMEs decided to absorb the full VAT rise rather than increase prices to their customers. According to nearly 70% of the surveyed businesses, the increase cost them less than £350 to implement and slightly less than 50% claimed to have spent less than 5 hours on its implementation.

However, business confidence is still fragile and cashflow is starting to show signs of strain. The increase in fuel duty is a further concern for businesses, points out the FSB’s national chairman, John Walker.

Meanwhile, experts believe that we are unlikely to see many tax concessions when George Osborne delivers the Budget in March.

The Green Budget, published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Barclays Wealth, claims that fiscal loosening could be counter-productive if it leads to an offsetting of financial tightening.
Michael Dicks, from Barclays Wealth, said he expects the UK economy will grow at much the same rate as the OBR has predicted, but the risks are skewed to the downside.

The Green Budget report welcomed the reduction of corporation tax but said the ‘Patent Box’ will add needless complexity to our taxation system.

© 2011 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Image: Save your sensibles 2 by ?Unity

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