Founded in 1975 with just £2,500, Sir Peter has driven Birmingham-based SCC to £2.5bn in sales and created jobs for over 7,000 people.
“As a businessman the perception of the UK finances worldwide is very important, explained in the AAA rating. Whatever the Chancellor does he has to be seen to maintain it,” he says.
“I don’t want a radical Budget. But it needs to be pro-growth. The higher tax rate is detrimental for both high fliers and companies looking to relocate here. At the same time taking low earners out of the tax system makes sense. Middle income earners should also be assisted with support for childcare.”
Fuel duty should be reduced and planning reforms accelerated to encourage development," adds Sir Peter. “It’s a monumental nightmare [to get projects approved]. Nothing has changed,” he says. “The right schemes have to be in some sort of accelerated programme.” Sir Peter also calls on the Chancellor to extend his national insurance holiday scheme for start ups to existing firms that were more likely to create additional sustainable employment.
“The presumption is that 50 small businesses will each take on one person that’s all very well. We know half of those businesses would fail. Extending the incentive to established businesses might increase employment or a new venture within that business.”
Government support of business investment should also receive attention, Sir Peter says. “The Regional Growth Fund is good but there needs to be more of it and the money made more accessible. And there needs to be less red tape around it.”
To have any meaningful impact, the new business-led but voluntary Local Enterprise Partnerships should also receive more funding via the “Growing Places” scheme, he add.
“I am very pro-British. I have built an international business that trades in 45 countries and I see us as an international business. Our competition is world class companies of a similar ilk. We grew by 16pc year on year so absolutely it can be done and we do it without government support, other than trading with government.”
“We are also a private company. We don’t have shareholders breathing down our necks. We take a long-term view and we are making investments on that basis. I did not stop a single sensible strategic investment in any of my businesses in the last five years.”