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Business calls for tax reform ahead of spending review


The Government is being urged to reform the tax system and cut red tape ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) later this month.


The Forum of Private Business (FPB) argues that streamlining the tax system and simplifying regulatory compliance could boost small business growth and help the Government to reach its target of £20 million in savings.


In its submission to the CSR, the lobby group sets out a number of proposals in key areas including taxation, regulation, employment, the economy and finance.


On taxation, the FPB argues that the Government should consider schemes such as a National Insurance Holiday for all non-employers and also called for the tax loopholes to be addressed.


It added that work should continue to limit EU social regulation, particularly legislation which has a ‘debilitating impact on small firms' abilities to trade profitably’.


On the subject of the economy, the organisation proposes: ring-fencing spending on UK trade and industry; increasing the financial protection for businesses through the Exports Credits Guarantee Department; and supporting the construction industry and low carbon economy by reducing VAT for those businesses which install energy efficient or energy creation systems.


It also suggests that the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme should be more flexible and that banks, rather than taxpayers, should be required to pay for transparent, independent monitoring of access and cost of finance.


‘Put simply, the UK's economy – ‘UK plc' – should be run more like a small business, making the most out of the country's valuable resources and ensuring that all departments work together to create and promote a real culture of enterprise,’ said the FPB’s Chief Executive, Phil Orford.