Disappointing Budget

June 2003
Management Services;Jun2003, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p4
Academic Journal
Business and financial advisers Grant Thornton hailed last month's budget as a genuine boost for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) but expressed disappointment that more companies would not benefit from the measures. The adoption of an expanded definition of a SME was hailed by Gordon Brown as one of the key measures to benefit SMEs. Once ratified by the EU, this will mean that any business with fewer than 250 employees and which has either an annual turnover not exceeding 34.5 million pounds or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 29.6 million pounds will qualify as a SME. The Chancellor claimed that this would make many more businesses eligible for tax relief specifically aimed at SMEs. However, Grant Thornton has calculated that only an estimated additional 10,000 businesses will benefit from this measure. Senior tax partner Mike Warburton said, "While Brown has clearly made efforts to improve the lot of the SME, the expansion of the definition of a SME may prove to be a bit of a red herring. If Brown had really wanted to help business he would have adopted a definition that included companies with more than 250 employees".


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