In General

PAYE umbrella contractors disheartened by recent news of feeble economic growth may support suggestions from a leading small business group.

Last week’s announcement of a distinctly underwhelming growth in GDP – just 0.5 per cent between January and March – hardly amounts to encouraging news for umbrella companies or anyone else seeking new work opportunities.  The insipid rise has spurred the Forum of Private Business (FPB) to call for a “two pronged” economic growth strategy.  The group believes that measures to increase consumer confidence along with urgent new business-friendly policies from government are both required in order to generate a genuine economic recovery.

FPB Chief Executive Phil Orford acknowledged  that the 0.5 per cent increase was “as good as we might have hoped for” and at least suggests that the UK has not slipped back into recession, as many feared.  However, he added, “it doesn’t indicate any great surge of economic activity, and it won’t dramatically increase confidence in the small business sector”.

Mr Orford called for “radical and immediate measures from the Government” if real growth was to be seen in the coming quarter.  Tangible improvements in the conditions for small businesses are needed; he added, especially the need to cut “costly and time-consuming red tape”.  Moreover, he believes the Government should act swiftly to introduce a simpler and more sympathetic tax system and tackle the soaring cost of fuels and utilities without further delay.

Initiatives such as this, Mr Orford continued, will help bring about “the second thing we need to see – a significant increase in business and consumer confidence”.  Maintaining confidence, he insisted, was essential if small businesses are to succeed in driving economic recovery.

His comments were reported in the news site Shout99.

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