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Government needs to provide a clear long-term outlook for business

For businesses to think beyond survival and embrace the Government’s plans, it is essential that the Government provides a clear long-term outlook for business and entrepreneurs, says Milan Pandya.

The open letter issued this morning jointly by Rishi Sunak and Kwasi Kwarteng sets out the Government’s long-term vision for rebuilding the economy. It needs to match this vision by spelling out the implications for business and entrepreneurs – what are the medium to long-term taxation plans and what incentives is the Government seeking to offer business and its owners to support investment?

It sets out for businesses the three key pillars of investment – infrastructure, skills and innovation – that the Government will focus on as part of its Plan for Growth and foundation for “building back better” from the pandemic.

Privately owned businesses, which represent the lifeblood of our economy, will be supportive of the Government’s commitment and ambitions, but the focus for most businesses is still on the more immediate priority of survival.

Businesses have been decimated over the past year and while we can all see clear daylight, there is a long road ahead to regain lost ground. A clear and attractive landscape is vital for business to want to invest for the long-term. The Chancellor and Business Secretary need to work in tandem to provide this clear roadmap.

While it is understandable why the Chancellor held back during this month’s Budget on spelling out fully what taxation measures he will deploy to reduce Government debt, businesses and entrepreneurs know tax rises are coming, they just don’t know what and how much. This uncertainty often acts as a deterrent to making long-term investment decisions.

There is a great opportunity for the Government to put entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators at the centre of its Plan for Growth.

The UK has a fantastic entrepreneurial backbone, with privately owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SME’s) accounting for nearly all of UK business. It is vital that the Government incentivises entrepreneurs and innovators to be at the heart of its “building back better” campaign. Creating the right eco-system is vital – a balanced and pro-business stance on taxation, regulation, targeted incentives such as training and re-skilling, together with a pro-business banking/lending system is vital.

The Government has a great opportunity to create a virtuous circle to allow the private sector to be at the heart of building back a stronger and more vibrant nation which has a bright long-term future. The actions it takes over the short-term will shape our future.

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