What tech businesses want from the 2015 Summer Budget

At 12:30 today (Wednesday 8th July) George Osborne delivered an ‘emergency’ budget, known as the Summer Budget.

The main issues included child tax credit cuts, lowered benefit caps, devolution of shop opening powers to local authorities, and free TV licenses for the over 75s. But how will the budget affect IT and tech businesses?

We’ve heard from a number of firms about what they would and wouldn’t want from the Summer Budget.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of online accounting software provider FreeAgent would like to see the UK tax system simplified, so it helps freelancers and small businesses more.

“Ideally this would include scrapping IR35 completely and replacing it with clear, simple guidelines that are less subjective and easier for contractors to deal with. And, as many micro-businesses are frustrated with the sticky issue of VAT MOSS, I’d also like to see a threshold introduced that exempts these small entities from having to charge local VAT to consumers in the EU,” said Molyneux.

“There are an estimated five million micro-businesses in the UK and many of them are being hit by oppressive or confusing tax rules. I believe these businesses need to be helped, not hindered, in order for the wider economy to grow and flourish.”

With several Whitehall departments’ budgets expected to be decreased by George Osborne, Condeco Software believes the public sector must focus on boosting productivity and efficiency in its workspace rather than just focusing on the cuts.

“These cuts announced in the Summer Budget will cascade further austerity into the regions and public sector organisations will need to find innovative ways to keep improving,” said workplace technology expert and CEO of Condeco Software, Paul Statham.

George Osborne is expected to propose longer Sunday trading hours, giving elected mayors and councils powers to relax laws locally.

The current law allows smaller shops to open all day, but restrict those over 280 sq m to six hours. While many businesses feel this is a positive move, GMB – the union of retail staff – has said there is no compelling evidence to support the need for changes to the 1994 Sunday Trading laws.

“If changes are pushed through there needs to be legal safeguards to give a genuine choice for people working in retail so that they can plan their work around their family and caring commitments,” said Bob Crosby, lead GMB Organiser.

“We have to face the fact that some employers will take advantage of the weak bargaining position of their staff and force them to work on Sunday.”

Read more about GMB’s comments on Sunday Trading laws here.

Image source: Shutterstock

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