Reviews of yesterday’s budget reveal a mixed response but the general feeling from the business community seems to be that this is a budget designed to support business and growth. The government’s economic forecasts were positive and in line with the recent optimism and improvements in business our members have experienced since the beginning of the year.
Forecasts for growth are up, with government borrowing and inflation targets set to fall. The reduction in corporation tax to 24% in April and a commitment to 22% by 2014 is a real boost to business and should encourage firms to invest.
For small businesses we welcome the plans to move to a simpler ‘cash accounts’ system which will bring huge deregulatory benefits to small businesses.
The government has also responded to calls from business to promote more bank lending and announced that small businesses should benefit from a greater supply of credit from the £20bn Government-backed loan scheme, the National Loan Guarantee Scheme. This move is welcome and long overdue as Project Merlin failed to achieve its targets and bank lending has been falling.
It is a shame that the chancellor did not take the opportunity to reverse the planned 3p per litre rise in fuel this April but the freeze on vehicle excise duty for road haulage is a to be welcomed.