Chancellor needs to stay on track in the autumn statement

Remember, remember the 5th of December. We maybe in the depths of winter and the leaves have all fallen off the trees but this Thursday is a golden opportunity for the UK economy when the Chancellor delivers his Autumn Statement – hopefully something UK business will find memorable for all the right reasons. Business needs the Chancellor to make it feel warm with confidence not dazzled with fireworks.

I urge the chancellor to avoid using the time on his feet in the house to crow about the economic upside of the past few months. True, he has more money to spend than he did at this time last year but this is not the time for lighting the blue touch paper and standing back. He needs to be measured and in some ways restrained.

Osborne’s joint move with the Bank of England last week to shift emphasis away from the housing market and into business loans via its Funding for Lending scheme highlighted concern over what is sparking the economic upturn. Now is not the time to rely on a ballooning property market. It is business confidence and stability which matters.

Like most business people, here at Transputec we are sensing a renewed optimism from customers. But that feel good factor is still tempered with nervousness. True, in our business at the tail end of the year things slow down. I look to the Chancellor to give us and our customers good reason to feel buoyant from the outset of 2014.

Any way a Chancellor can create conditions for businesses to add to their bottom line is welcomed. Business rates must surly be the big wish this time. Immediate reform of the business property tax would get the ball rolling.

Personally, I would also like to see some recognition of the role crowdfunding could play in the economy. We are being far to coy about alternative funding models. Despite everything of recent years – the fallout from a banking crisis meltdown, miss-selling scandals, accusations of greed, a discredited Co-op bank and the rumblings at RBS – we still seem to feel we have to put up with the banks despite their excesses. Perhaps there is now room for other methods.

last summer the treasury announced plans to include AIM investments as part of people’s personal tax wrapper…they can be included in an ISA. I would like to see something similar with investments in crowd funded projects. I feel crowdfunding is here to stay and as a business person immersed in the poet of technology to communicate I can see how powerful it could become.

I just think Mr Osborne needs to recognise this.

But all this is fairly small fry… what thousands of businesses in the country need is the ability to borrow money to invest as grow.

George Osborne, has held off delivering this statement until the PM gets back from his bridge mending, business building trip to China.

The papers and news bulletin have been awash with Mr Cameron’s ‘triumphs’ in China… all good news if he can deliever the world’s fastest growing superpower’s money into GB PLC.

Chinese investment in HS2 rail link perhaps or a taking a slice of the energy cake were pretty much no brainers but… as a number of blogs which speak up for small business have been saying this week… scrap the rail link and put the money into business investment. Of course, if the PM does persuade the Chinmese to foot the bill for the rail link – won’t that free up some serious money for UK businesses?

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