Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce calls for halt to more business tax and red tape
Feb 2 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
BUSINESS leaders in Huddersfield have called for new employment laws and extra taxes on firms to be scrapped – to allow companies to get on with creating jobs.
New employment rules and extra taxes will cost British businesses £25.6bn over the next four years, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.
And Yorkshire firms will have to find £1.9bn as their share of the financial burden, it is claimed.
BCC said over half the national figure – £14bn – would come from increased employer National Insurance contributions, which will increase by 1% from April next year.
Concern about the prospects for local firms has been heightened by evidence of a “weak” 0.1% growth rate for the UK economy in the final quarter of 2009 – which only just took the UK out of recession.
The Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said it was continuing to lobby for the planned increase in NI to be scrapped, so that employers “can get on with creating jobs and wealth as a top priority to spearhead our economic recovery”.
It also wanted to call a halt on a raft of new employment rules due to come into force over the next three years.
Steven Leigh, head of policy for the Mid Yorkshire chamber, said: “The non-stop flow of additional red tape, legislation and additional taxes is strangling businesses at a time when they need to be helped and encouraged.
“This year alone business will have to comply with new legislation for the Equality Bill, Time Off to Train, Apprentices National Minimum Wage, the Agency Workers Directive, Dual Discrimination, Additional Paternity Leave and Pay and the European Works Council Directive.
“A similar roll-out of employment legislation is set to take effect in the following three years.
“The speed of our recovery is now being seriously threatened and – despite the poor state of our public finances – we consider it essential that in the year ahead the government should prioritise business at the heart of the economic recovery.
“The increase in employer NI contributions doesn’t make any sense at a time like this and it should be scrapped.”