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Solid Budget gives Scottish firms stability

Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his second Budget and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has broadly welcomed his announcements. 

Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “The last thing that Scottish small firms wanted was a Budget which pulled the rug from under them. The Chancellor’s solid plans will give many in business a little of the stability they crave.

“As many as 190,000 Scottish micro-businesses – like crofters, musicians and start-ups - could have been hit had the VAT threshold been lowered. Instead, FSB is ready to work with the Treasury to simplify an over-complicated tax.”

On digital and connectivity: 

Andy said: “The Chancellor is absolutely right to ensure that the UK is ready to take advantage of new technologies and new business models. Many in business will be pleased to hear that the UK Government is looking to invest more in broadband infrastructure. 

“However in Scotland, we can’t see squabbling governments stand in the way of better connectivity. Administrations in Edinburgh and London must work together to address this problem.”

On city and growth deals:

 Andy said: “FSB in Scotland has repeatedly raised concerns about how these deals are formulated. We must see better engagement with local people and firms.”

On plastic waste:

 Andy said: “As governments north and south of the border look to tackle plastic waste, they must design systems that are easy for independent businesses to navigate.” 

On business rates:

Andy said:  “By using a different measure of inflation, business rate bills in England will rise less quickly. The Scottish Government should follow suit to help firms outside of the scope of their small business rates relief.”

On income tax and the Scottish Government budget:

 Andy said: “With only 15 working days until the Scottish Government’s budget statement, Derek Mackay has to ensure that any efforts to raise revenue don’t undermine the economy.”