As part of a survey of 150 fast growth entrepreneurial businesses across the UK by financial services firm EY, 21 per cent placed a reduction in the levels of corporation tax at the top of a wish list from the next government.
This was followed by 14 per cent that rated an extension to tax relief measures as the second most important issue with tackling infrastructure investment in the nation’s road, rail and air links the third biggest priority.
Rounding off the entrepreneurs’ top five “pleas” to the next government were increasing funding for apprenticeship and re-skilling schemes, and forging stronger links with universities to encourage new business startups.
Stuart Watson, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year UK Leader, said: “Dynamic entrepreneurs create jobs and rapid economic growth. Creating a supportive environment that helps them fulfil their vision can only create more confidence in the market and strengthen our economy.”
Intriguingly the survey revealed differences in opinion around the regions of the UK as to what the next government should focus on.
In the South East and South West of England almost a third of entrepreneurs opted for investment in transport infrastructure as their number one priority, followed by an improvement in broadband speeds. Corporation tax did not feature in the top five.
In the capital, entrepreneurs echoed the call for a reduction in corporate tax levels and called for more support for road, rail and air links. Of course, we previously reported that London has the most expensive and dirtiest transport operation in the world.
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Northern respondents placed ‘the creation of hubs in locations across the UK to drive innovation’ top of their priority list.
In the Midlands entrepreneurs called for an increase in funding for apprenticeship and re-skilling schemes, with 27 per cent classifying this as their second priority, after a reduction in corporate tax levels.
Simon Allport, EY’s North of England Markets Leader, said: “We saw new and extended Enterprise Zones introduced in the recent Budget, and our results suggest that Northern entrepreneurs see hubs like these as a crucial way to foster growth and innovation.
“They could prove to be an ingredient in balancing the UK economy and perhaps boosting the competitiveness of the North – which has been high on the political agenda over the last 12 months.”
Watson concluded: “There is optimism in the air amongst entrepreneurs who have their sights set firmly on growth. The next government needs to deliver clear policies to encourage dynamic entrepreneurs to continue to build jobs and prosperity, benefiting the wider economy.”
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