Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has said SMEs “have been left behind” by today’s Budget, as she vowed to “fight to protect our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy and at the heart of our local communities.”
Layla added that when she visited small businesses in her constituency for Small Business Saturday late last year, “it was clear they’re on the brink and they need more.” She said “what good is this Budget if our high streets, our local pubs, will be decimated?”
Moran and the Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to put small businesses and hospitality at the centre of the economic recovery by going further and:
- Introducing a dedicated Revenue Loss Scheme to compensate SMEs for the money they are losing while having to close.
- Maintaining the business rates holiday for all small businesses throughout 2021-22, not just until June.
- Giving vital cash relief for retail, hospitality and live events businesses on their deferred VAT payments, so they have cash available as working capital when they reopen.
- Extending the furlough scheme and self-employed support scheme until the end of 2021, and bringing all 3 million excluded under Government support, not just 600,000 people.
Layla said “we don’t want our community and the local economy to just survive, we want them to thrive”, saying today’s Budget is “a missed opportunity to protect the local high street” and “right the wrong of excluding three million people from any support.”
Layla and the Walton Street Cycles team on Small Business Saturday
Speaking after the publication of the Budget, Layla said:
“Our small businesses have been left behind by the Chancellor today. Restart grants aren’t nearly enough to compensate for a year of financial pain, and without further support our community won’t be the same again. When I visited struggling shops, pubs and cafes for Small Business Saturday recently, it was clear they’re on the brink and they need more.
“We don’t want our community and the local economy to just survive, we want them to thrive and be the engines of our economic recovery, creating jobs and opportunities. What good is this Budget if our high streets, our local pubs, will be decimated? We need to be saving the likes of the Lamb and Flag, not leaving them to close forever.
“I and the local Lib Dems will fight to protect our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy and at the heart of our local communities. We need to see a furlough scheme for small businesses to compensate them for lost revenue, the business rates holiday to continue for the entire next financial year, more relief for the live events and hospitality sectors so they can reopen, and the extension of the furlough and self-employed support schemes fully to the end of 2021. And, perhaps most importantly, the Conservatives need to right the wrong of excluding three million people from any support.”