North East SMEs are calling on the UK Government to reduce Corporation Tax in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement to help boost the region’s economy. 


Research from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking found more than half of the region’s SMEs (52 per cent) put reducing taxation at the top of their wish list for the Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s Autumn Statement.  

Only slightly fewer (50 per cent) said that cutting bureaucracy should be the Government’s priority to support businesses in the region, showing the strength of feeling locally. 

The joint third biggest priorities, cited by 39 per cent of firms in the North East, were more incentives to attract more foreign investment and action to increase investment in infrastructure and transport. 

Leigh Taylor, regional director for the North East at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Despite moves by the Government, red tape is clearly still a burden for SMEs in the North East. 

“They are calling on the Government to ease the regulatory pressures that they say are holding them back, as well as slashing Corporation Tax and investing in infrastructure to boost the region’s transport network. 

“We are playing our part to help North East businesses to start up, grow and export – for example by increasing our net lending and supporting big infrastructure projects as part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan.  

“However, it is clear that firms are calling for the Government to do more to give them the confidence to invest for the long-term.”  

North East firms also called on the Government to increase support for firms trading overseas (20 per cent), dial-up support for tackling fraud (19 per cent), and improve broadband for business (15 per cent).