Budget outcomes at a glance

The Chancellor’s Budget could never have satisfied everyone. While the accelerated reduction in Corporation Tax, as well as the continued commitment to deficit reduction, are both reasons for businesses to be cheerful, we are disappointed that action was not taken today to prevent the coming ‘Great Business Rates Robbery’, nor the lack of action to boost investment and employment by SMEs in the real economy.

Here at the Chamber, we can’t help but feel that the Chancellor could have done more to help the small- and medium-sized companies that are at the heart of local economies up and down the UK. Corporation Tax reductions are undeniably positive, but benefit biggest companies the most. Changes to tax rules may help three million companies, but these are the tiniest in the land, with turnover of under £77,000 per annum.

We can be heartened by a number of the Chancellor’s decisions, including commitments to deliver planning reform, to finally getting on with Tax Increment Financing, to incentives for Enterprise Areas in Scotland and Wales, and to devolving decisions on Air Passenger Duty to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Yet I was hoping for more radical steps to support the solid-citizen employers in cities and towns up and down the land who have kept this country afloat during a period of protracted economic uncertainty.

Detailed grid of policy changes and commitments click here

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