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Politicians 'must encourage business growth'


While politicians bicker among themselves, with party conference season in full swing as the usual roundabout of debates and criticisms gets underway, the business world is enjoying an understated and fitful recovery.

However, decision-makers need to do more to encourage growth and help the corporate world improve its financial situation, according to Grant Thornton's Jonathan Riley.

Writing in Accountancy Age, the company's national head of tax suggested too much focus has been placed on large businesses and their micro-sized counterparts, with mid-level bodies left out of the discussion.

"These businesses are the ones that will drive growth, being sufficiently flexible to adapt to trading conditions here and abroad. But they need support in retaining and recruiting talent," he declared.

Politicians also need to consider how these firms can access finance, innovate and establish strong trading links overseas. This is especially important when it comes to dealing with emergent economies, which could be helpful in driving domestic growth.

"Our aim is to engender a greater appreciation for the segment's tangible contribution and future potential in supporting the recovery - points which are often missed by party rhetoric but critical in the context of the wider recovery," added Mr Riley.

While positivity has increased in the corporate finance world over the last six months, concerns remain, especially when it comes to the global economic outlook and the possibility of a split from the EU.

In terms of tax policy, Grant Thornton is calling for a degree of stability from the government and urging against focusing on quote-friendly soundbites that do not take the wider economic situation into account.

Mr Riley concluded by describing the atmosphere for tax planning in the UK at the moment "confusing", making it difficult for businesses to adopt progressive and growth-focused schemes despite the increased positivity seen among chief financial officers.

Prime minister David Cameron used his keynote speech at the Conservative party conference to underline his commitment to creating more opportunities for business growth.



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