Forum of Private Business gives Hammond 5 out of 10 for his pre-Brexit budget

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has given the Chancellor 5 out of 10 for his last budget before Britain leaves the EU.

Managing Director Ian Cass said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s moves to support High Street’s up and down the country, especially the commitment to cutting Business Rates by a third for some, but ask that this move is extended beyond the two years he announced.”

While Brexit uncertainty is a real issue, Cass believes that productivity and late payments are the real issues holding the British economy back.

He added: “We need urgent action from the government relating to late payments. Small businesses are struggling because the larger businesses they supply are delaying their payments and we will continue to lobby both the Department for Business and the Small Business Commissioner to deal with this.

“On productivity, we welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to replace European funding for the British Business Bank if needed, and to extend Start Up Loans until 2021, but he could have gone further to support small and medium sized businesses, including by simplifying our complicated tax system.”

The Forum is concerned that the government still shows little real understanding of small business and the issues it faces, and because of this is still focussed on the symptoms rather than dealing with the disease, the short term fixes rather than the long term issues.

Cass points to the Forum’s ‘Get Britain Trading’ campaign as something which can stimulate the economy.

“We are asking the government to support businesses across the country as we seek to make the most of Brexit. We want to make sure that all those businesses that have the opportunity to develop through exporting are doing so," said Cass.



For more information about the ‘Get Britain Trading’ campaign please visit

About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it. We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK. Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.

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