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Small businesses disappointed by Budget, says poll

A survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed that many small firms feel the Budget did not offer them the support they need during the recession.

The poll, which questioned 300 businesses, brought particular criticism of the Chancellor’s decision to increase fuel duty by 2p per litre.

Eight out of ten respondents said that the move would have an adverse effect on their businesses, with 71 per cent adding that it would bring £30 a week in extra costs.

Almost 70 per cent believed that the Budget had not addressed the needs of small firms, while 38 per cent thought that it would “quite negatively” affect their business.

However, some measures won approval. Some 29 per cent of business owners welcomed the new investment in building projects and the extension of the scheme for loss making firms enabling them to reclaim tax on profits.

John Walker, the FSB’s national policy chairman, said of the poll: “Small businesses are the engine room of the British economy, but they have been choked by the Budget with increases in fuel and alcohol duty and little to help small firms struggling with cashflow.

“This survey shows that the Chancellor’s Budget could have gone much further to support small firms, and we will be meeting with officials to ensure they do more to help small firms create and retain jobs, and survive and grow in these difficult times.”