NEW figures slipped out by the Treasury reveal that in its first year of operation the government’s flagship national insurance holiday for new businesses has supported just 2.5 per cent of the businesses promised help by the Chancellor in his first Budget.
The scheme, which has a budget of almost £1bn, is also set to cost more in administration and red tape than it has so far given in support for new businesses.
The Government should use the hundreds of millions of pounds of unspent money allocated to the scheme and extend the tax break to all existing small firms, with fewer than 10 employees, who take on extra workers in every region and nation of the UK.
The national insurance tax break would apply for a year for each additional employee taken on. In Wallasey this could provide a lifeline to many struggling businesses.
In his first Budget George Osborne said his policy would benefit 400,000 businesses but the Treasury’s own figures show that just over 10,000 firms received support from the scheme between September 2010 and November 2011.
Just £6m was paid out to small firms to support 12,400 jobs in the period for which figures are available, but the Treasury estimates that the administration costs of the scheme will be double that at around £12m.
That’s why I will be calling on the Government to provide real help now for businesses in Wallasey.