Budget must centre on private sector business, says BCC

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has argued that the Budget needs to focus on giving private sector businesses the freedom and flexibility needed to pull the economy out of recession.

The BCC’s Budget submission said immediate action was necessary to restore business confidence.

As part of its recommendations to the Chancellor, the BCC wants to see a freeze on the minimum wage, the reintroduction of empty property rate relief, a reduction in the rate of small companies’ corporation tax, and a scrapping of the increase in National Insurance Contributions planned for 2011.

Establishing a form of government guarantee scheme for credit insurance will make life easier for businesses that are concerned about covering losses through non-payments, the BCC continued.

Additionally, the business organisation called for the setting up of Enterprise Zones, where businesses in specific areas could benefit from a simplified planning regime and exemption from a number of taxes.

It also urged the government to introduce a temporary short-time working compensation scheme, which would reduce job losses and help employers retain skilled workers.

David Frost, the BCC’s director general, commented: “The Chancellor’s Budget is an opportunity for the government to prove its commitment to British business during this recession.

“It will be business that drives the economy forward, creating jobs and wealth. Unless they are given the freedom and flexibility needed to survive and prosper, many more companies will go bust, and sadly, many more jobs will be lost.”