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Businesses call on chancellor for additional Covid support

Feb 23
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Businesses are calling on the chancellor Rishi Sunak to offer more support to those impacted by the pandemic when he announces his Budget next month.

That is according to a survey of more than 800 businesses conducted by EY, which also found they want to be consulted on steps to balance the deficit.

One in eight of those questioned said they wanted the chancellor to act now on taxes, as opposed to one in five who believe he should wait until 2022 to take any action on the matter.

Inward investment into the UK is one of the biggest priorities for businesses, with one-fifth of respondents hoping the chancellor will make it his focus.

Looking at the results of its survey, EY said the chancellor is facing a trilemma in his budget: supporting businesses and individuals; being fiscally responsible; and attracting investment, so that the economy can flourish post-Brexit.

Chris Sanger, EY’s head of tax policy, said: “The views of UK businesses very much reflect the challenge facing the chancellor in his second Budget: what level of additional support does he announce for citizens and businesses hit by the pandemic; when and how does he start to address the elephant in the room - the UK’s budget deficit - while at the same time laying the building blocks to encourage inward investment following the UK’s departure from the EU?”

Probing for more information on how they envisioned the chancellor could attract investment in the UK, EY mainly received two responses. They were certainty over corporate tax rate, which was mentioned by 36 per cent of respondents, and targeted tax incentives, which 39 per cent recommended.

While changes to employment tax was mentioned by 15 per cent of those interviewed and ten per cent considered amending enterprise zones, they weren’t put forward by most respondents.

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