Tomorrow is the Autumn Statement from Chancellor George Osborne.

Business Argus asked local business people what they would like to see him announce...

Leighton Reed, tax director, at Broomfield & Alexander, Newport

Many of our clients are SMEs and many are still getting to grips with the changes that the Chancellor announced in the Budget following the General Election earlier this year, such as the living wage. With that in mind, we’d like to see no big surprises from the Chancellor on Wednesday so that businesses can plan for the future with confidence and focus on growth, rather than regulatory change. We are anticipating some announcements in relation to energy efficiency and cyber security, but the key issue here is whether or not any changes will have an impact on cost. SMEs make up the backbone of the UK economy and it is precisely these organisations that feel the pinch most, whether its business rates, utility prices, wages or digital security. The government needs to fully understand how its actions will affect SMEs before implementing yet more change.

Dan Smith, director, M4 Property Consultants, Cwmbran

Business rates remains one of the big issues impacting commercial property occupiers be that retail, office and industrial, but particularly the retail sector. There are quite a few occupiers who pay more in business rates than they do in rent. The government have talked about making changes to the system and have undertaken several reviews. However, we haven’t seen any real progress and as a result a lot of businesses are paying more than they should. Welsh Government recently suggested reduced business rates for the steel industry to help with that crisis, but more radical, fundamental changes to the system are required. Whilst we don’t expect it, it would be good to hear some progress on this.

Ed Gooderham of Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors, Cwmbran

We would like to see continued support for innovative business by continuing the Research & Development relief which was granted last March. This means that businesses who make technical or scientific advancements, not already available from professionals in their field, can get £230 relief on their tax bill for every £100 they spend. These concessions help British businesses to prosper and make a greater contribution to the technological world we now live in. We are also hoping Mr Osborne will reconsider his proposal to reduce mortgage interest relief to basic rate for landlords, as well as providing more information on the Help to Buy ISA being launched in December. We are holding our next Landlord Forum on Wednesday, November 25, the aim of which is to keep landlords informed of changes in legislation which might affect them, and we would welcome any positive news from the Chancellor for the rental property business. If you would like to attend our Landlord Forum, please contact us on 01633 871122.