Great Yarmouth Red Rocket Accident Repair Centre call on national insurance tax break

The owner of a new Great Yarmouth business has called for an end to national insurance tax break 'discrimination'.

James Wilhelmsen, joint owner of Red Rocket Accident Repair Centre, which opened in October, said he was getting little help from the government.

Currently, an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) scheme offers regional employers a deduction of up to �5,000 per employee in the first 12 months of employing its first 10 employees, but this region misses out because it is deemed an 'affluent' area.

Mr Wilhelmsen said: 'It is absolutely preposterous that we are not getting the same help being offered to other parts of the country.

'Businesses are closing and people are losing their jobs. Yet we are standing on our own two feet and trying to take on new staff and getting precious little help.'?

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He and co-director Terry Burrell bought the car body workshop business in Morton Peto Road in October and, because of the workload, are taking on a new employee this month with the likelihood of another later in the year.

Simon Clarke, director of business support at business advisors and accountants PKF, said: 'It seems absurd that areas like Great Yarmouth have been bracketed with the more affluent London and South-East areas in missing out on this benefit.'

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He said the firm wanted to work with Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis to persuade the government to think again, particularly after a recent report that only about 10,000 of an expected 400,000 new businesses in other parts of the country had taken up the offer.

He said: 'This (Red Rocket Accident Repair Centre) is just one of our clients suffering unfairly from being excluded from the scheme, even though this area has now been granted Enterprise Zone status.'

Mr Lewis said: 'In?Great Yarmouth we have an enterprise zone and I have been making the case to the Treasury that we would benefit from extending the NI holiday scheme to all enterprise zones.

'We are part of the affluent eastern region and as such do not currently benefit from the NI holiday scheme. But as we have such pockets of unemployment in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, I believe there is a good case to make for the scheme to be extended to the Enterprise Zone as a further economic boost and incentive for job creating there,' he added.

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