FSB responds to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's speech

Press Releases 27 Jan 2023

Small firms react to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s speech, saying 'we've got to boost growth and productivity'

Responding to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's speech this morning, FSB Chief of External Affairs, Craig Beaumont, said:

“The contents of the Chancellor’s speech today had all the right elements to build a successful, prosperous economy – but now the proof will be in the pudding in the years ahead.  His personal drive is clear.  It was helpful to speak to the Chancellor after the speech on how to take this forward.

“As a former small business owner himself, it was encouraging to hear him talk about his own, personal experiences with enterprise and innovation. But policy decisions now must match his new four-pillar framework.  We've got to boost growth and productivity.

“First up must be to change the recent decisions to gut the SME R&D scheme due to too much take-up, where we need a new way forward. The abolition of Help to Grow Digital due to too little take-up means we need new ideas - such as our Help to Green proposals that boost investment and net zero.

“The Government must now turn its efforts into getting more people into employment through a Kickstart scheme. It should also set a target to grow the number of disabled entrepreneurs by 100,000 by 2025, because a disability entrepreneurship gap exists, and they should act to help close it. The self-employed should also be given the right help to expand their business.

“The litmus test of today's framework and the policy decisions that now flow will be on the Chancellor's budget on March 15, when we hope he follows today’s bark with a bite.”

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Anna Slater

Anna Slater

Deputy Head of Media and Communications