LONDON, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Greater Emphasis on Eradicating Tax Avoidance/Evasion
Improved Education and Greater Infrastructure Investment
Small and medium sized companies ("SMEs") believe they are shouldering an unfair proportion of corporate taxes and Government is not doing enough to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance/evasion schemes, according to the latest Business Environment/OnePoll conducted in the last fortnight before the General Election.
SMEs employ more than 15 million people and generate a turnover of approximately £1.6 triillion annually, according to the latest Federation of Small Businesses statistics. As such it is the UK's largest single employment sector.
A survey of 1,000 SME owners and senior managers discovered that more than 50% of respondents believed that lower Corporation Tax would help this business sector grow over the next five years. 56% of polled SMEs also believed that the next Government should create a better tax environment, including lower National Insurance contributions, if the sector is to flourish over the life of the next Parliament.
In addition the survey revealed that SMEs are calling for greater infrastructure investment and an improved education system that focuses on improving the achievement levels of the lower performers.
Not unnaturally, the poll reflected the sector's concerns over the growing amount of "red tape" particularly in Health & Safety where they believe Risk Assessment bureaucracy is out of control. Typically respondents cite examples of having to produce Risk Assessments on things like Chewing a Biro and using a Sticking Plaster as being time wasteful and costly to implement.
Interestingly, Small and Medium Sized businesses were less concerned about two key election issues: the EU and immigration. Only a quarter of respondents believed that less interference from the EU would improve the business environment while only 13% called for less immigration. At the same time 45% of those polled felt that immigration had a positive impact on their business and the economy.
However at the straightforward political level almost 42% of respondents believed that the Conservatives would be best for small businesses while only 28% felt Labour is beneficial for the sector. None of the other parties featured highly in this area although almost four out of ten believed that UKIP is the worst party for small businesses.
At the same time the poll showed SMEs were divided over the prospects of a coalition Government with 28% stating that a Labour/Lib Dem coalition would be good for small businesses. This compared with less than 23% who felt a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition would benefit SMEs. While a third regarded a Labour/SNP coalition as providing the worst prospects for the sector.
David Saul, Managing Director of Business Environment, a leading London and South-East based provider of flexible business space aimed at the SME sector, said: "There is a tendency by politicians of all colours to forget that SMEs represent a huge proportion of UK business, as well as being the largest single employment sector, and I think that no one party is making an impact with this key element of the electorate.
"What is clear from our survey is that small businesses feel a greater proportion of the corporate tax burden falls on their shoulders and that Government is not doing enough to ensure large companies pay their fair share of tax. It also shows that both the EU and immigration are not regarded as priority issues by this sector."
NOTES TO EDITORS
- Business Environment ("BE") is a unique vertically integrated serviced offices company that has been established for 21 years.
- BE was founded by its present Managing Director and Finance Director, David Saul and Simon Rusk.
- It is highly regarded and is recognised within its sector as one of the leading providers of serviced office space.
- It has won numerous awards for its customer service and has been recognised as being one of the best places to work, ranking for seven consecutive years in the Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to work for.
- BE operates a total of 12 business centres of which nine are either owned freehold or on long leaseholds.
- The Company has a total of 600,000 sq ft of business space.
- The majority of BE's centres are in the City of London with further centres in Wembley, Reading, Basingstoke, Bristol and Milton Keynes.
- Further expansion is planned and over the medium term BE anticipates its portfolio increasing to 20 centres within the next two years.
- In addition to the serviced office operation BE group companies also includes security, cleaning, facilities management, development, IT services and asset management.
- BE is unusual among serviced office operators in that it has a high degree of property expertise within its senior management and Board. As a result the company is able to undertake its own redevelopments when opportunities present themselves.
Baron Phillips, Baron Phillips Associates. Tel: +44(0)7767 444193
SOURCE Business Environment