Small businesses in Hartlepool could be left with money worries after Budget

Colin Griffiths
Colin Griffiths

The small business boss could be left with financial problems from a Budget aimed at putting more money in people’s pockets.

That’s according to Colin Griffiths, a business consultant and Federation of Small Business Hartlepool branch vice chairman.

Mr Osborne used his Budget speech to announce a new ‘living wage’, to replace the minimum wage for those aged 25 and over.

It will start at £7.20 next April and rising to £9 by 2020.

Mr Griffiths described it as “a good thing but for the small business, it could affect a lot of them”.

He said the Chancellor’s announcement could mean more financial pressures on the smaller firms.

“It is good that the living wage is moving that way but it is a big jump. If someone is working 40 hours, that could be an extra £80 a week for a business.”

He also reacted to the Chancellor’s announcement of a levy on large businesses to help fund apprenticeship growth.

The levy is expected to involve every employer paying in to the scheme, with training subsidised by the funds.

Mr Griffiths said the FSB already encouraged apprenticeships and added: “We have taken on apprentices ourselves. It is nice to develop the skills and train them in accountancy and business administration.

“We are really keen and there are a lot of small businesses out there that do it but as to the big businesses, that is open to question.”