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Toby Perkins MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Small Business, commenting on today’s survey from the Federation of Small Businesses showing that small business confidence fell to a record low at the end of last year, said:

“This survey from the Federation of Small Businesses highlights what Labour has been saying for months – that the Tory-led Government’s decision to cut spending and raise taxes too far and too fast has hit businesses hard and choked off the economic recovery.

“And it is particularly worrying that the survey reports that a growing number of firms have laid off workers, with more planning to reduce staff further. Higher unemployment and slower growth means the Government is now set to borrow £158 billion more than previously planned – with billions more added to the welfare bill.

“The Federation of Small Businesses is right to call on the Government to take urgent action to help small businesses. Labour's five point plan for growth and jobs includes a national insurance holiday for all small businesses taking on extra workers and a temporary VAT cut to provide a much needed boost to our economy. It’s time this Government changed course and worked to help hard-pressed businesses so we can get the deficit down in a fairer and better way”.

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