Business Costs are Rising
Chambers of Commerce through British Chambers of Commerce in London are consulted by the Treasury prior to the Government publishing its Autumn Statement or budget. Companies in Plymouth and Devon when asked about priorities for the future have stated that businesses are already being burdened with significant stealth tax increases and additional fees and charges. Those mentioned to the Chamber include:
- Increased administration costs as a result of the Apprenticeship Levy and other changes to apprenticeship funding.
- The increased cost of Pensions Auto-Enrolment. This has been particularly burdensome for small companies.
- Insurance Premium Tax that went up from 10% to 12% in June
- Dividend Tax rise which is discouraging entrepreneurial risk-taking
- Restrictions in travel and substances costs for small companies which is penalising those companies with flexible working arrangement and those using contract and temporary staff.
- Increases in the National Living Wage
- Immigration Skills Charge which is penalising companies which cannot recruit from the UK
- National Insurance Charge increase announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement and now being implemented
The Chamber has asked the Government to make a commitment to no new up-front business taxes and other significant input cost for the remainder of this parliament. This will become particularly important if, and it seems likely, interest rates begin to rise. The Chamber is currently organising a series of consultation meetings with the Bank of England to stress the effect on local businesses and rise in interest rates. The Chamber is always interested in hearing your views.