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|FSB in Scotland responds to Autumn Statement|
|Wednesday, 25 November 2015|
Commenting on the Autumn Statement, delivered today by Chancellor George Osborne, Andy Willox, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scottish policy convenor, said:
“Next year, Scotland’s small employers face a lorry load of change. The tax credit rethink will ease some of the upward pressure on wages. But firms in important Scottish sectors will still be worried about the aggregate impact of upcoming changes to the national minimum wage and the introduction of compulsory workplace pensions.
“The Chancellor is putting his money where his mouth is on e-government – an area where progress north of the border has been achingly slow. A single digital tax account should help small firms save time and thus money.
“On spending, the key issue for many Scottish local economies will be whether public bodies continue to consolidate their estates and withdraw from local communities. Quitting town centres might offer public organisations short-term savings, but will incur other costs to the economy. Thus, there needs to be some form of financial penalty imposed on these bodies so that they share in the consequences of their actions.
“City deals in Scotland could unlock infrastructure investment and drive growth. But these agreements cannot be drawn up behind closed doors with little scope for local business to spot opportunities and highlight their priorities.
“Old-fashioned business rates systems across the UK aren’t fit for the 21st century. And, as serious reform in Scotland looks to be on hold until the major Westminster-led review reports, businesses north of the border may be disappointed to hear that reform in England won’t start until at least next year.”
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