Small business community backs spending review

Reactions to Osborne’s planned spending cuts

In response to the Comprehensive Spending Review announced today, small firms across the UK have shown support to government plans to impose £81bn spending cuts.

Speaking to the House of Commons, chancellor George Osborne unveiled the biggest spending cuts since World War II. He announced plans to cut public sector jobs by almost half a million by 2014-15, to raise the pension age to 66 by 2020 (six years earlier than originally planned), and to introduce a new bank levy.

Osborne told MPs: “Today is the day when Britain steps back from the brink, when we confront the bills from a decade of debt.”

In an effort to slash the enormous deficit, Osborne also announced plans to axe a number of quangos, including 24 from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. In addition, the Train to Gain programme, which helps employers boost their business performance by improving the skills of their employees, is to be terminated.

However, despite the severe cuts announced, the small business community has in general reacted positively to the spending review.

Charlie Mullins, who founded Pimlico Plumbers, described the announcements as an emergency call to private businesses to rescue the economy. He said: “The private sector is now the UK’s fourth emergency service. Today’s government spending review announcement is a 999 call to private businesses.

“CEOs of major corporations, one or two man bands, and the MDs of medium-sized corporations like mine have the challenge to work even harder to create new business and expand the economy.”

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed measures to increase the number of adult apprenticeships by 50%, however it urged the government to put into place a Small Business Programme for Growth.

National chairman of the FSB, John Walker, said: “Our members understand that to reduce the public sector deficit, these cuts had to be made.

“The small business community continues to have a vital part to play in driving a credible recovery and taking on new members of staff to help tackle unemployment, so it is vital the government puts a Small Business Programme for Growth into action immediately.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2010


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