Plea for autumn Budget support as rising tax burden threatens Scottish business growth

Scottish businesses will be looking for additional support from the Chancellor next week as a rising tax burden threatens growth, according to a new report.

One in three mid-market businesses believes the increased tax burden is a top threat to future expansion, a survey ahead of Rishi Sunak’s autumn statement reveals.

The findings from accountancy and business advisory group Grant Thornton show that the increased tax burden is considered as big a challenge as digital security and cyber risk. They are based on the views of more than 600 businesses around the country.

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Firms have already been hit this year with the upcoming rise in corporation tax to 25 per cent, announced in the March Budget, and the recent announcement of a rise in national insurance payments from April 2022 to help fund the health and social care sectors.

The front door of 11 Downing Street, the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Andrew Howie, managing partner for Grant Thornton UK LLP in Scotland, said: “Given the upheaval of the last 18 months, to say nothing of the tax rises, Scottish businesses may well be hoping for a low key autumn Budget. All the business community wants to see is support that offers a clear path to recovery and growth.

“Any measures that help to address skills shortages, the soaring cost of materials, and supply chain disruption would be welcomed. No doubt some of these issues are related to borders.

“We still operate in a globalised economy and international trade is hugely important to Scotland.

“International exports of goods and services – excluding oil and gas – were worth £34 billion before Brexit and the pandemic, so it’s a priority area for support.”

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