On Friday I was pleased to welcome to our Knutsford offices George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer and our local MP. During the meeting Mr Osborne commented that he “would like to continue to support us working to get our members voice heard”.During a productive meeting we were able to discuss a few key issues including:
- making it easier for small companies to export
- getting government agencies such as Companies House to do more to minimise regulations
- giving businesses more choice in how they communicate with enforcement agencies
- late payment
- recent changes to dividends, highlighted in the Budget.
The government wants to see small businesses export more but licences such as the Warehousekeepers and Owners of Warehoused Goods Regulations (WOWGR) make it so frustrating that some firms simply give up, the processes that HMRC are not fit for purpose and we look forward to receiving further comments around this and other export issues.
Government agencies are also concerned with money laundering regulations. In the case of company formations, company registration agents need to follow due diligence and money laundering regulations when forming a UK company; Companies House does not – surely this cannot be correct or advisable?
Government seems to have pushed a lot of responsibilities onto the private sector and moving online seems to be its solution to reducing red tape. Businesses and their trusted advisers have had huge problems with the way that government wishes to communicate with them. They need to think carefully about the way they use this digital technology and realise that one size does not fit all.
Late payment – influencing a multi-national company in Europe is unlikely so the Forum wants to ensure that the Small Business Commissioner has the tools to do the job.
Thanks to a member we had a working example of the impact of the dividend structure changes announced in the Budget. The Forum wants the government to accept that our members risk a lot including their homes to employ people and a reasonable balance between risk and reward is needed.
If you are affected by the changes to taxation on dividends or simply feel it is unfair on your customers or suppliers then you can register your dissatisfaction at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106525.