EY crowned best thought leader at the WealthBriefing European Awards 2015

06 May 2015

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Corporate tax levels should be front of mind for the next Government, according to the results of an EY survey of fast growth entrepreneurial businesses across the UK.

The EY survey shows that nationwide, 21% of entrepreneurs place a reduction in the levels of corporation tax at the top of their wish list from the next government, followed by 14% who rate an extension to tax relief measures as the second most important issue.

Tackling infrastructure investment in the country’s road, rail and air links should be the next Government’s third priority (14%), ahead of action to increase funding for apprenticeship and re-skilling schemes, according to the survey’s results. Completing the UK’s entrepreneurs’ top five pleas to the next Government, is forging stronger links with universities to encourage new business start-ups.

EY surveyed 150 entrepreneurial business leaders across the UK and asked them to select the areas that they believe the next Government should prioritise to fuel growth and rank them in order of importance. 

Stuart Watson, EY’s Entrepreneur of The Year UK Leader, comments: “Dynamic entrepreneurs create jobs and rapid economic growth. Creating a supportive environment that helps them fulfil their vision can only create more confidence in the market and strengthen our economy.”

Different priorities in the UK’s regions

Demonstrating varied business needs, there were differences in opinion between the respondents across the UK’s regions, as to what the next Government should focus on.

In the South East and South West almost a third of entrepreneurs opted for investment in transport infrastructure (31%) as their number one priority, followed by an improvement in broadband speeds (19%). Corporation tax did not feature in their top five.

In the capital, entrepreneurs echoed the call for a reduction in corporate tax levels and called for more support for road, rail and air links, listing this as their second priority.

In contrast, Northern respondents placed ‘the creation of hubs in locations across the UK to drive innovation’ top of their priority list (38%). Simon Allport, EY’s North of England Markets Leader, said: “We saw new and extended Enterprise Zones introduced in the recent Budget, and our results suggest that Northern entrepreneurs see hubs like these as a crucial way to foster growth and innovation. They could prove to be an ingredient in balancing the UK economy and perhaps boosting the competitiveness of the North – which has been high on the political agenda over the last 12 months.

“History has shown us that investment in hubs can help to support the accelerated growth of specific industries and their supply chains. The financial services sector in the Docklands area of London is the ultimate example of incentives, infrastructure and the regulatory environment coming together to form a self-reinforcing cluster, which has ultimately further strengthened London's position as a world force in financial services. The North could follow this example to develop in other high growth industries.”

In the Midlands, EY’s survey results reinforce the extent of the challenge that fast growth businesses face in sourcing local talent. Entrepreneurs in the region call for an increase in funding for apprenticeship and re-skilling schemes, with 27% classifying this as their second priority, after a reduction in corporate tax levels.

Stuart Watson concludes: “There is optimism in the air amongst entrepreneurs who have their sights set firmly on growth. A report released by EY in September last year revealed that 93% of UK entrepreneurs expected their turnover to increase in the next three years.

“However, 77% stated that attracting the right talent was a major barrier to achieving growth plans. The next Government needs to deliver clear policies to encourage dynamic entrepreneurs to continue to build jobs and prosperity, benefiting the wider economy.”