Reaction to the proposed tax increases and Staffordshire Business Awards 2021

Whilst we at the Chambers fully understand the need to tackle the problems facing the country’s social care system, raising national insurance, and increasing the surcharge on dividend income seems ill thought out given the challenges businesses are already facing. Many firms have been seriously affected by 18 months of Covid related restrictions on trading and changes in the patterns of orders, some have built up huge debt burdens (and most have been worried at some time about cash flow) and many are now affected by labour shortages, distribution issues and rising energy costs. Not a good time, I suspect, to add to the burden of tax on businesses and individuals.

Businesses generate prosperity, create jobs and support communities. The focus should be on creating the best possible environment for them to grow and thrive so they can sustainably deliver the tax revenue needed to support our public services and the wider economy. The proposed tax rises will take much-needed funds away from Staffordshire businesses who are already facing rising costs and so many other pressures.

The top line information has been told widely – it’s a 1.25 per cent health and social care levy introduced from April 2022, based on national insurance (NI) contributions to generate £36bn towards social care reforms over the next three years. Although first it will be used to fund “the biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’ history”  but I am not quite sure what it will be paying for as we haven’t got enough nurses, doctors are facing burnout and we aren’t training enough, we can’t build many more hospitals in this time surely? Could this be an opportunity for new entrants from the private sector to fill the gaps and be part of the new trade negotiations?

I would value your thoughts on these changes – and the tax on dividends – and how these changes are going to affect your business. This helps formulate our response to Government and feeds into our national lobbying via the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), so please get in touch via the various methods of contact below.

Finally, a reminder that you have two weeks to enter the 2021 Staffordshire Business Awards which close for entries on 24th September.

The quality of entries last year was extremely high, and I am expecting the same again, if not even higher this year.

Award categories cover every size and sector of businesses – from brand new start-ups to large, established companies – and there are also awards for individuals who have excelled.

The overall winner from the 15 categories will take home the coveted Business of The Year Award, sponsored, for the seventh year running, by HSBC.

Shortlisted entrants will be notified following the judging and a special gala award event – live and virtual,at Uttoxeter Racecourse, and streamed online – will take place in November.

More information on the awards and entry details: www.staffordshirechambers.co.uk/awards

If you want to talk to us about any other business issues, including funding, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email: info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

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