Budget Statement 2004: Summary of Small Business Announcements

Improving Small Businesses’ Experience of Government Services

Small businesses can feel over-burdened by multiple demands and confused if there are too many sources of support. The Budget announced the following further steps:

Business Link

  • Following the pilots in the Midlands and the North West, the delivery of regional and local Business Link services will move to the English RDAs from April 2005. The change will take place within a strong national framework including core services and standards, which will be developed by the Small Business Service with the RDAs and other government departments.
  • The new businesslink.gov.uk website has been launched, which will provide an online service for business advice, helping users to understand the regulatory requirements on their business together with the support that is available.

Local Authority Business Growth Incentives

  • To create a direct financial incentive for local authorities to promote local business growth, the Government is introducing the Local Authority Business Growth Incentives scheme. This will allow local authorities to retain a proportion of increases in local business rate revenues. No business will pay more under the scheme.

O’Donnell Review

  • A new single department will be established, integrating HM Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue. This follows the recommendations of the Review of Revenue Departments, led by Gus O’Donnell, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury. The creation of a single, customer-focused, department, which makes better use of the information that taxpayers provide, will improve tax collection from the non-compliant and reduce costs for the compliant, helping to improve the fairness of the tax system.

Budget Statement 2004: Summary Small Business Statements – Crown Copyright © 2004-2012

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