BUSINESSES around Swindon and Wiltshire criticised the government's new job support and creation schemes for missing out key industries and the self-employed.

South west representative of campaign group #forgottenltd Fiona Scott said: "There was nothing for those excluded so far when it comes to government support - there is a clear decision to leave us behind.

"It makes no sense for the government to reward companies for bringing employees back from furlough or creating new apprenticeships if so many small companies are going out of business. It will be too late and it will not stop a tidal wave of job losses.

“Small businesses have been abandoned. The cracks in the government’s support packages are getting wider. And at this rate more businesses will fall into them, never to be seen again.”

Nicki Kinton of Confident Cashflow in Swindon had mixed views on Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak's plans.

She said: “With the heavy focus on job retention and supporting the hospitality, entertainment and travel industries there’s not much in it for businesses in other sectors.

“That said the incentives to bring back employees from furlough and keep them employed, and the temporary stamp duty threshold increase should act as a stimulus for the economy and give the public, and businesses, a little more spending confidence.

“We are still yet to understand how the billions of pounds in lost tax revenue and increased spending will be recouped but that is a question for future budgets."

Accountant Mike Lloyd of Haines Watts Swindon said: “Overall there was a positive vibe. It illustrated the second of three phases of the recovery. Phase one was support, this phase is all about jobs with phase three focussed on rebuilding.

"There were a number of targeted measures to support, create and protect jobs including employer incentives for returning employees from furlough and creating new jobs for young people, stamp duty cuts, VAT reductions in the hospitality and tourism sector and a voucher system for discounted meals out.

“The autumn statement to come will undoubtedly focus on the financial reckoning of how it's all going to be paid for.”

Wiltshire-based business psychologist Jan P De Jonge of People Business Psychology said: “Small businesses and especially the many self-employed will still feel rather left out in the stinging cold this summer. It will take a huge effort from central government to try to turn this sentiment around.”

Oli Thomas, of Purple Lime accountancy in Corsham said: “The hospitality sector is being heavily supported with VAT cuts and plans for government subsidies to offer customer discounts. This is a clear move showing the government is concerned about one of the sectors that has been the most severely impacted. The VAT cuts, as we saw during the last recession on a wider scale, will take some administration in terms of businesses recording their sales and filing VAT returns. Technology in sales and accounting systems will help automate this.

“As the furlough scheme (JRS) is reducing and its eventual end is in sight there are concerns of mass redundancies. While the government is incentivising employers to keep staff, for some businesses hit particularly hard, the grant amounts won’t be enough to sway their plans to reduce staff costs.

“The Stamp Duty Land Tax has been exempted for all properties up to £500k. This aims to kick start the housing market and similar, less aggressive policies, have proved successful previously – so we’re hopeful this will be a positive move.”