Hike in fuel duty hampering small firms' growth
In the survey of more than 400 small firms, nine in 10 (89%) said the hike in fuel duty at the beginning of the year will cost them up to £2,000 over the next six months, on top of regular outgoings.
In order to deal with the extra expenses, 62% cent said they will have to increase prices if fuel prices continue to rise, one in 10 small businesses said they will lay off staff, and a quarter (26%) said they will freeze wages.
The Government has said it is putting its faith in the private sector to put the economy onto a firm footing yet 36% said they will have to reduce investment in new products and services and nearly eight in 10 (78%) said their profitability will be reduced.
The FSB has become the latest organisation to demand a fuel duty stabiliser and is also calling for all future fuel increases to be scrapped until a stabiliser is put in place.
John Walker, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: 'These figures show that the rise in fuel duty is really having a negative effect on small businesses that actually want to grow, innovate and take on new staff. The Government has said it is looking to the private sector to put the economy on a firm footing, but the hike in fuel duty is doing the opposite and hampering small business growth. With future fuel duty rises looking likely, small firms are just going to be left trying to survive.
'The Government promised in opposition that it would put a fuel duty stabiliser in place, and it is clear that without such a measure, the country's five million small businesses will be put on a knife-edge. It is vital the Government goes back to its pledge and puts this stabiliser in place.'