Minister for small business Anna Soubry refused an invitation to discuss a campaign against the new directors’ dividend tax, despite 32,000 business leaders backing its petition, its founder said.
Serena Humphrey, owner of financial training company The F Word, said Ms Soubry turned down a request to discuss her Survive and Succeed campaign as the MP’s diary is “already heavily committed”.
Survive and Succeed is lobbying against plans to tax directors’ dividends. From April 2016 dividends above £5,000 will be taxed at between 7.5 per cent and 38.1 per cent dependent on rate.
Ms Humphrey said SMEs would have a better chance of surviving if Chancellor George Osborne’s tax proposals were scrapped.
She said: “It is therefore surprising, given [the Government’s] insistence that SMEs are part of their five-year plan, that the person heading up this plan can’t find time to come and speak to worried business owners.”
Ms Humphrey added: “Owner-managers don’t make fortunes at the best of times. They are naturally careful with their money and faced with a drop in income they will almost certainly do one thing: cut their spending.
“There are millions of them so the impact of that is going to be widely felt.”