Responding to a 1.25% increase in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for employers, employees and sole traders alongside a 1.25% increase in dividend taxation, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Mike Cherry said:
“These hikes will have business owners and sole traders feeling demoralised at the point when they’re trying to recover from the most difficult 18 months of their professional lives. For those thinking about starting up, they send completely the wrong message.
“Business owners who have done all they can to retain and support their staff during the pandemic are now being punished for that loyalty with an £11bn increase in NICs, which essentially serve as a jobs tax.
“This regressive levy hits employers and sole traders without meaningful regard for how their business is performing. And this increase will stifle recruitment, investment and efforts to upskill and improve productivity in the years ahead.
“At the same time those running companies, many of whom were left out of pandemic support measures, face a fresh assault on dividend revenue.
“It’s extremely disappointing to see the Government undermining the good work it did last year in raising the Employment Allowance to provide some protection for small employers.
“Instead of breaking manifesto promises, we had hoped this administration – which has repeatedly pledged its support for small enterprises – would build on that progress against a backdrop of spiralling input prices, skills shortages, supply chain disruption, the reintroduction of business rates and emergency loan repayments.
“This move marks an anti-jobs, anti-small business, anti-start up manifesto breach. The Government should now increase the Employment Allowance to mitigate the damaging impacts of these hikes on the small firms that make-up 99% of our business community.”
As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.
FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.