Call to free firms from tax

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The head of the region's small business lobby has called on the government to free hundreds of firms from paying VAT.

Ken Moon, head of the Wessex Federation of Small Businesses, is arguing for raising the level at which firms start paying VAT on their products from a turnover of 70,000 to 90,000.

He said: 'If government is truly committed to a private sector-led recovery, it must implement a small business programme for growth.

'This would be a great start.'