Treasury urged to consider ‘Brexit vouchers’ to help with no-deal Brexit

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The Federation of Small Businesses is urging the chancellor to consider 'Brexit vouchers' to help businesses to deal with a potential no-deal Brexit.

Speaking to PA, the federation's policy and advocacy chairman Martin McTague said the UK needs to "get serious" about planning and preparing the economy.

The FSB is calling for an emergency budget including a "blanket cut" to employer national insurance contributions. They say a reduction from 13.8% to 12% would help small employers manage a surge in staffing costs.

The group also recommends an uprating of the £3,000 employment allowance following a decision to target the relief at the small firms that need it most. Other recommendations include reducing the 17.5% VAT rate.

For small businesses that could be affected by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, such as those that trade exclusively with one European market, the FSB is calling for "Brexit vouchers" worth up to £3,000 to assist with planning for the future, accessing new markets, retraining staff and retooling.

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McTague said: "With the UK set to leave the EU on 31 October, we need an emergency budget before Brexit happens. It's time for this government to get serious about planning and preparing the economy.

"Advertising campaigns and small-scale measures focused on a few exporters won't cut it. Cash is king for small firms, so we urgently need measures that will allow them to shore up balance sheets, keep hiring, and help them prepare for an uncertain future.

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"We've been dogged by disappointing economic growth for years now. That's why we need interventions on the domestic front.

"Making business rates fairer, supporting those struggling with employment costs and investing in infrastructure would give many small firms a new lease of life.

"The government would do well to remember that the economy only thrives when small businesses do."

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