Micro-businesses say government does not support or understand them, finds new Crunch research

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Just 0.1% of UK micro-businesses think government understands their needs and majority would stop contracting if rumoured one-month rule kicks in

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Almost 90% of micro-business owners feel the current government doesn’t understand their needs or support them

Almost 90% of micro-business owners feel the current government doesn’t understand their needs or support them, new research has revealed.

The survey of more than 1,000 micro-business owners (one to ten employees), conducted by Crunch Accounting, painted a stark picture of freelancers and contractors doubting the government’s concern for their businesses.

Ahead of today's autumn statement announcement (25 November), Crunch asked micro-business owners “Do you feel the current government is supportive of, and understands, one-person businesses?” 88% responded No and a further 12% stated they were Undecided. Just one business owner responded in favour of the government’s approach.

Business owners were also asked about the potential impact of the rumoured “one-month rule” for them as freelancers and contractors. 82% said they regularly spent more than a month on-site with clients and 79% would not continue as freelancers or contractors if a “one-month rule” did apply to them, forcing them into payroll taxes.

This alarming result presents a challenge and opportunity for the Chancellor George Osborne to show his commitment to the micro-business sector as he sets out his economic plans later in the week.

Crunch micro-business ambassador Jason Kitcat said: “The autumn statement is an opportunity for the government to recover from a crisis in confidence within the micro-business sector.

“While micro-businesses are feeling bruised by the planned hike in dividend taxes and rumours around ‘one-month rules’, the opportunity remains for government to rebuild confidence.

“With 8.4 million people working in the micro-business sector we believe there is a huge opportunity for government to work with our sector to boost the economy and build relationships. We will continue to work across party lines to support everyone who wants to understand and connect with micro-businesses,” said Kitcat.

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