Over a third (39%) of owner managed businesses want the new government to provide tax breaks that will allow them to pay their employees better wages, according to the latest release of the Owner Managed Business (OMB) Barometer from Bank of Cyprus UK.

The research found that in the last quarter OMBs were increasingly confident about their business prospects, with 25 percent of OMBs stating they intend to hire more staff in the next 12 months, an increase from 19 percent in December 2014.

Tony Leahy of Bank of Cyprus UK said:

“OMBs understand that realising their growth prospects is closely entwined with the commitment and efforts of their employees. The research shows there is a clear desire on the part of OMBs to ensure their employees are paid fairly, but it is often a big challenge for smaller businesses to pay higher wages.

The living wage in the UK is currently calculated at £7.85, or £9.15 within London. The Scottish National Party have been pushing for a raise in the National Minimum Wage to meet this figure for years, making it a focal point of their campaign this election season.

Leahy added:

“The key themes of the recent election campaign have been a focus on maintaining the recent economic progress made in the UK whilst ensuring the benefits of this progress are more closely felt by working families. It therefore follows that by taking the requisite steps to help small businesses, our newly-elected government can go a long way to realising both of these key objectives.”