Chancellor Philip Hammond is currently under fire over the business rates revaluation, and one local business advisor is calling upon him to go easy in his March 8 Budget.
Graham Gordon, managing partner at Moore and Smalley which has an office at Squires Gate Blackpool said businesses were facing too much pressure to cope with more change.
He said: “With the budget just a couple of weeks away, my message to Philip Hammond is simple – do nothing.
“Workplace pensions, business rates, the national living wage, the Making Tax Digital laws; I can’t remember a time when businesses have faced so many major distractions.
“That’s before we even talk about tax where we recently overtook India as having the longest tax code in the world.
“Our entrepreneurs are being prevented from running successful businesses that create jobs and wealth. We don’t want anything else getting in the way.” He said the living wage was an example. Although inflation was rising and wage inflation in the economy was necessary to keep people spending it was not just the increased cost of paying employees that figure that firms were dealing with.
He said: “Other staff are demanding more pay to reflect their relative seniority.
“In other words, the bar staff get more, so the bar supervisor wants more and so does the hotel manager. I’m aware of hospitality businesses who’ve had to put 30p on the price of a pint just to meet the knock-on effects of the living wage.
“You might say that’s all part of being in business. But how can we expect people to invest in their businesses when they have so much else to deal with?”
“Unless the chancellor can do something so overwhelmingly positive it balances the economy, boosts exports and creates jobs in one fell swoop, I’d advise him to do as little as possible in this budget.”