Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has backed concerns raised by the Federation of Small Businesses and other commercial groups about the lack of tools to bounce back from the pandemic in the Budget announced this week.
Mr Carmichael said:
“This Budget represents a missed opportunity to back small businesses, particularly in the Highlands and Islands. I have to agree with the Federation of Small Businesses which said that the Chancellor ‘missed a trick’ and failed to give businesses the tools they need to recover. With taxes stacked high and little substantive change in spending it is hard to see where all the money is going.
“We know already that major issues like the cost of living and energy – which hit both individuals and businesses – were largely ignored by the Chancellor, who apparently thinks these problems do not exist because they do not affect him. You might have expected a little more interest in the needs of business and yet even that appears to have fallen by the wayside. We need a fairer tax system for small businesses and workers to get our recovery going but that is not what this government is delivering.”
Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses’ Scotland policy chair, said:
“There were slim pickings for hard-pressed debt-laden Scottish small businesses in [the] Budget.
“The Chancellor could have reduced payroll taxes or taken the edge off non-domestic energy bills, but Scotland’s local and independent firms struggling under the weight of Covid debt and spiralling utility costs won’t have heard much from the Chancellor that will help them balance the books.”