MP survey suggests unemployment and taxes expected to rise
HALF of Huntingdonshire s businesses expect unemployment to rise in the next 12 months, and most expect personal and business taxes to go up, too, according to a recent survey by Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly. The Parliamentarian apologised to those ta
HALF of Huntingdonshire's businesses expect unemployment to rise in the next 12 months, and most expect personal and business taxes to go up, too, according to a recent survey by Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly.
The Parliamentarian apologised to those taking part in his survey for asking them to complete yet another form - one of his usual rallying cries is for a reduction in red tape.
Almost half of those responding to his annual survey of local business leaders said they had not been affected by the "credit crunch", with nearly 15 per cent unable to say whether they had been hit or not.
Nearly 17 in 20 respondents felt the Government understood business either not very much or not at all.
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Respondents were more or less equally divided in their confidence in the security of their dealings with HM Revenue and Customs, and nearly two-thirds said recent revelations about HMRC's seemingly casual attitude to data security made them less likely to deal with the department on line.
Four in 10 respondents called for a reduction in business rates as a priority, with nearly 20 per cent seeking batter parking facilities - ahead of the implementation of 67-100 per cent increase in Huntingdonshire District Council's parking charges - and for around 15 per cent in each case the favoured improvement was better relations with the community and police, and improved public transport.
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Mr Djanogly said: "I would never claim that this was a scientific survey. However, some of the results are so clear-cut that they do send a very strong message. I was particularly struck by how many of those who responded expected to see their tax bills rise in the next 12 months (90 per cent for business tax and 87 per cent for personal tax).
"In light of all the recent revelations about lost laptops and computer disks, I was also very interested, but not surprised, to see that half of those taking part in the survey were not at all confident that any data they provided to HMRC were secure. The growing impact of the internet is also notable, with 71 per cent saying that it had made their lives easier," he added.
In a letter to the 122 out of 1,800 businesses that responded, he added: "Interestingly, although people found using the internet made their lives easier and was a more effective use of their time, it did not necessarily reduce the amount of paperwork.