Business groups are hoping for tax cuts, energy allowances and investment incentives to help protect companies from spiralling costs and stimulate growth.
The CBI, the UK’s largest employers group, said that rising inflation was harming living standards, while the economic effects of the Ukraine conflict were being felt across the economy, but especially for smaller companies and those in energy intensive industries.
In the short term, the CBI wants to maintain and expand the recovery loan scheme until the end of 2022 and reduce costs for energy intensive industries, while in the longer term it has called for a permanent investment deduction to replace the super deduction tax break that expires next year.
The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that soaring fuel and utility bills will “spell the end for many of the quarter of a million firms that say they are on the brink of collapse”.
The group wants the chancellor to cut fuel duty, help small businesses with energy bills, increase the employment allowance to £5,000 and reform business rates.
Manufacturers group Make UK has urged the chancellor to delay the planned national insurance contribution rise in April until the economy is in a more robust position and reinstate business rates relief for small businesses.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has outlined a five-point plan to tackle the cost of doing business that also includes delaying the national insurance rise by a year to give companies financial headroom to weather the surge in costs. The BCC has also called for a temporary energy price cap for small businesses, and a moratorium on all policy measures that increase business costs.