THE Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Huntingdonshire is urging the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement today (Wednesday) to put a firm plan in place for small firms to grow, which it says can be fully delivered in the Budget next March.

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The FSB also wants the planned 3p per litre fuel duty increase due in the New Year to be scrapped. This will help relieve the pressure on tight finances of both businesses and households, especially as utility prices have increased, the federation said yesterday.

Huntingdonshire branch chairman Malcolm Lyons said: “There is no argument that the Government has had a tough economic backdrop to work with, but small firms are still feeling the pressure, so need a clear plan for growth to get them back on track is needed.

“One of the key pressures that businesses are feeling is the cost of fuel. This especially affects our transport businesses of which we have a number in this area.”

One of his members, Simon Dew, of Dews Coaches in Somersham, added: “The cost of fuel has been a real drain on us this year. These costs have to be passed on to the customers and this has an influence on business growth and jobs.

“Another 3p a litre on the cost of diesel will seriously affect us. It would be great if the Government could give us a signal that it really values the small business community by abandoning this rise.”

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