British businesses show mixed reactions to Chancellor’s Budget

When George Osborne announced that his Budget would be “unashamedly on the side of business aspiration”, he set himself two goals: to “maintain fiscal credibility” and to create the optimal conditions for economic growth.

Whether or not this will hold true in the coming months remains to be seen, but the responses of UK firms have been varied to say the least.

Some, like the Forum of Private Business (FPB), felt that the Chancellor’s measures on taxation and finances were a step in the right direction for the economy.

FPB chief executive Phil Orford welcomed the reduced top income tax rate, and said that it would “stimulate entrepreneurship”.

He also praised the proposals to merge income tax and National Insurance as “the first step in what looks to be long overdue reforms to the tax system for small firms”.

On the other hand, Mr Orford did stress that the Chancellor could have done more to stimulate small business success.

Similarly, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said that Mr Osborne had “missed [an] opportunity to jump start the economy”.

The think tank argued that the UK was in desperate need of a jobs guarantee to stimulate growth and get the long-term unemployed back into work.

Like the IPPR, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said that the Budget had done little to ease the squeeze on households or provide a boost to consumer confidence, resulting in a UK population that remains reluctant to spend.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry warned that the current growth forecast for the UK is just 0.8 per cent and could be even lower, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Overall, it appears that even those who welcomed the Chancellor’s budget felt that it had room for improvement.

Reactions suggest that it will have little immediate impact in accelerating any kind of economic recovery as long as businesses lack the confidence to invest in the future.

Corporate governance recruitment at Barclay Simpson