From: Martin Hathaway, Managing Director, Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
I WRITE to you to highlight the results of a recent survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) which has revealed that UK firms, including those across our region, believe that the UK tax system is fundamentally unfair and not a level playing field.
The findings largely signal concerns over how HMRC applies the tax rules to different types of firms and that HMRC doesn’t provide the support needed to be compliant; a view held by one in two firms. This figure is higher for micro firms (51 per cent), compared to medium and larger firms (42 per cent).
Two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents don’t believe that HMRC applies tax rules fairly across all sizes of business. Micro firms are again more likely to have that view (70 per cent) compared to their medium and large counterparts (59 per cent).
Many respondents also expressed frustration that HMRC underestimated the time and money their small businesses spent trying to keep pace with regulatory burdens and the complexities of the system.
Out of 1,000 firms from across the UK who took part in the survey, nearly three-fifths (58 per cent) of respondents believed the current UK tax regime to be unfair to businesses like theirs. The question is what is HMRC going to do about it?
On behalf of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber, and together with the BCC, we are calling on the Government to improve HMRC’s service to business, by matching the level of investment in tax avoidance work with funding for support and advice to businesses. Reducing the burden of compliance and improving processes for collecting tax would also go a long way to improve the process for business.
Furthermore, they need to recognise that the relentless rise in upfront business taxes and costs such as sky-high business rates and the costly introduction of Making Tax Digital are only adding to the already onerous cost and administrative burden on our country’s firms.
This reinforces our concerns over the current tax regime, and we support the BCC in its call for the Government to pledge to introduce no new input taxes and other significant costs on businesses for the remainder of this Parliament. As a nation, and a region, we should be doing all we can to support small businesses, not creating barriers with unfair and difficult regulations.
Rounding up at petrol pump
From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.
AS I desperately tried to put exactly £20 of petrol in my car and saw the display click to £20.01 (I’m totally convinced in my own mind that the petrol pumps are specially designed to make it as difficult as possible to stop them at exactly a whole pound), my thoughts went back to your recent letter from Robert Shipley, who suggested that the withdrawal of one and two pence coins would hit the poor and put up prices.
If this were to take place, petrol pumps would click forward by five pence, the next legal tender coin... another little booster to the already huge profits of the oil companies.
Airports need better links
From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.
AS long as airports continue to play an important part of our transport infrastructure, then it is essential that we end the nation’s domiance of Heathrow and Gatwick.
Thus I would support better rail links to such as Leeds-Bradford and Manchester Airports (The Yorkshire Post, May 8).
But, in the long run, we must for the sake of the environment try and reduce the amount of air travel. After all, with the likes of Skype and tele-conferencing who really needs to fly?
And a true “Green” Paper on the UK’s aviation strategy should reflect this.
No place in parliament
From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.
HOW distasteful of Environment Secretary Michael Gove to claim in the House of Commons that Jeremy Corbyn “couldn’t even run a whelk stall”.
Such infantile behaviour by so-called politicians should have no place at Parliament.
If Mr Gove was confident in the strength and validity of his argument, he would not have needed to resort to tactless personal insults like this that are an insult to those who do run whelk stalls.
And he is supposed to be one of the better Tory Ministers?
Opportunities from Brexit
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
AT last a businessman, Chris Rea (The Yorkshire Post, May 7), is coming out with a sensible statement that too many businesses are blaming Brexit for their inability to get their businesses on track.
He himself firmly believes that markets in the US, Middle and Far East are more lucrative for UK businesses than the EU.
Isn’t that one of the reasons we voted to leave them behind?
Politics of austerity
From: S Hardy, Cottenham Road, Rotherham.
WHY does MW Nicholson (The Yorkshire Post, May 8) think hundreds of thousands of us are going to vote Tory to keep Labour out?
Quite the opposite.
So don’t speak up for me and hundreds of thousands when you’re not. Austerity is a political choice.