25th June 2024What HW Fisher would like to see from the next UK Government

On the 4th of July 2024, the UK will choose its next government. We’ve now seen the main political parties all publish their manifestos, revealing the plans they would like to implement if they are victorious at the ballot boxes next month.

With less than two weeks to go until the country makes its decision, the team at HW Fisher share what they would like to see from the UK’s next government.

1. Simplify the UK tax system

Stevie Heafford, Tax Partner, says: “The next Government should take a fresh look at the tax system and refocus it on two key principles: common definitions, where everyone understands what the rules are, and common sense, for when they should apply. Simplifying the tax system in this way would benefit everyone. Too often, governments introduce new tax rules as a knee-jerk reaction that always ends with unintended consequences. Moving forward we need to see legislation that is more carefully thought out and where its knock-on impacts have been explored thoroughly before it is passed through. This will help give the UK the stability it is craving.”

2. Fix the UK’s rental market

Sam Dewes, Private Client Partner, says: “Landlords and renters are both feeling the pressure. Higher interest rates, alongside tax and regulatory changes, are forcing many landlords to increase their prices or sell up. According to a survey of estate agents, the number of homes available to rent has plummeted by almost half since 2019, driving up demand for the remaining stock. Added to the cost-of-living crisis, the increase in rents has left many first-time buyers with less cash at the end of each month to save for their own property. Landlords have been the target of a number of tax increases in recent years and the government should review how the tax system can help the market operate more efficiently, perhaps by removing or reworking the restriction on mortgage interest tax relief.”

3. Invest in HMRC to provide a faster service for all

Toby Ryland, Corporate Tax Partner, says: “There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get in touch with HMRC. Call waiting times are at an all-time high, responses take forever, and getting hold of the person you need is borderline impossible. This is causing serious delays at all stages of interaction. Tax enquiries are taking too long to solve, and repayments are slow to process. The next government must commit to staffing HMRC properly to stop the needless cycle of delays and the frustration it causes for everyone involved.

“Banks also need to be quicker at opening new business accounts, especially for those that are inward investors into the UK. It is shocking that an overseas business can incorporate a UK subsidiary company, register it for tax, VAT and payroll within a short time, but they cannot open a bank account for months and months. If the UK is serious about attracting more overseas investment to create new jobs and wealth, this issue needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.”

4. Champion SMEs and entrepreneurs

Simon Michaels, CEO of HW Fisher Business Solutions, says: “The rising number of company insolvencies should ring alarm bells — yet we’ve seen little action to help small businesses survive the UK’s current high interest rate environment. We need fresh measures to support SMEs, starting with addressing their cash flow challenges. One option is a new payment initiative for large companies and government agencies to guarantee faster payments for SMEs.

“A recent Treasury Committee report reveals how banks are mistreating small businesses. In the last year more than 140,000 have been ‘de-banked.’ Loan approval rates are falling drastically, and more business owners are being forced to use their personal assets as collateral.

“Instead of turning their backs on businesses in their time of need, we need to see more government backed schemes that ensure fair access to low-interest loans for SMEs. Otherwise, the incentive for entrepreneurs to start their own business will quickly disappear.”

5. Streamline trade with the EU

Gerry Myton, Indirect Tax Partner, says: “Four years on from Brexit and both businesses and consumers are still paying the price, via the increased costs of doing business which flow through into supply chains. In fact, two thirds of respondents to a British Chambers of Commerce survey say that trading with the EU is now more difficult to do than it was a year ago.

“It’s a trend we are seeing with our own clients. Getting goods through the hard border that now exists between the UK and the European Union – as well as the reporting that is required – has become a significant barrier to growth for many exporters, particularly those selling goods B2C. Added to that complexity is the recent imposition of border controls that has significantly increased the cost of importing goods from the EU for certain sectors.

“We anticipate that many businesses, particularly smaller ones, would like the UK to rejoin the customs union and/or the single market. If that is not possible, at the very least we would like to see improved implementation of the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement to allow greater trade facilitation to provide greater predictability for business. This will be the challenge for the next government in negotiations with the EU in mid to late 2026.”

At HW Fisher, we have been proudly serving clients for more than 90 years. We help individuals and companies that are large, medium, or small, with big picture planning and attending to all the important little details.


If you would like to speak to one of our experts for tailored, professional advice, you can get in touch with our team here.

Key contacts

Stevie Heafford

07748 537469
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Sam Dewes

(0)20 7554 3060
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Toby Ryland

020 7874 7959
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Simon Michaels

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Gerry Myton

020 7874 7982
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