Recession deeper than first thought: Darling

Darling told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One: “If you look at what has happened, the downturn since last autumn has been far deeper than I think people expected in any part of the world.”

The Telegraph reports that it’s understood “despite already announcing a new 45p higher rate of income tax and a rise in National Insurance, a range of other future tax rises are now understood to be under consideration. This could include an increase in VAT.”

If the reports are true, many small businesses will be left disappointed. A recent survey of SMEs conducted by Intuit, the provider of QuickBooks business and financial management solutions, revealed that most would like to see tax cuts in this year’s Budget.

The five most popular measures small businesses would like to see announced on 22 April are:

1. Reduction of employers’ National Insurance contribution rate (46%)2. Tighter government control over bank charges (33%)3. Further deferment of the rate increase of corporation tax (27%)4. Further measures to ensure late payments are reduced (21%)5. Extension of VAT reduction to 15 per cent for a further 12 months (21%)

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