Small firms respond to King’s Speech calling for clear, sharp action at the Autumn Statement

Press Releases 7 Nov 2023

FSB responds to the King's Speech

In response to the King’s Speech, delivered today, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Martin McTague said:

“The King’s Speech comes at a crunch time for the economy. The Chancellor now has a good opportunity to build on the King’s Speech with clear, sharp action in the upcoming Autumn Statement.

“The emphasis on steering inflation back to its target underscores the need for prudent decision-making.

“Equally crucial is taking action on late payment, under pressure sectors and the advancement of skills. It’s important for the Autumn Statement to empower the self-employed to deduct training expenses from their taxable income so the UK can keep pace with economic and technological change.

“Small firms are on tenterhooks for other favourable policy announcements. They want to see the SME-focused 75 per cent business rates relief for firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors continue. This lifeline is set to vanish in March and its absence could leave a devastating blow to those already struggling to stay afloat. Similarly, the much-anticipated business-rates reform cannot remain in limbo.

“After the first King’s Speech in 70 years, all eyes are on the Autumn Statement to champion the cause of the UK’s 5.6million strong business community.”

Media contact 

Anna Slater

Anna Slater

Deputy Head of Media and Communications

About FSB

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 You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.