Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his first Budget on 15 March. Some of the key business-related measures either announced or confirmed during his speech were:
While business groups welcomed some of the announcements, there was also concern that the Chancellor had largely overlooked the small business sector.
“The Chancellor has acted to address the unfilled jobs blighting our economy. It is especially good to see the help on childcare and for over-50s workers. Almost half of businesses have told us they will struggle to pay their energy bills from April, and they cannot invest when they are fighting to survive. There is little in today’s announcement that will provide comfort to these firms.”
Shevaun Haviland, British Chambers of Commerce Director General
“Our economy has been held back in recent years because people running businesses have felt nervous of committing to investment when the climate is so uncertain. The introduction of 100% full expensing for the next three years is therefore very welcome and we urge it to be continued thereafter.
Having said that it is disappointing that the Chancellor has chosen to target R&D tax credits to some parts of the economy. While good news for the sectors concerned, it could lead to less innovation across the economy more widely.”
Kitty Ussher, Institute of Directors Chief Economist
“The distinct lack of new support in core areas proves that small firms are overlooked and undervalued. Budgets are about tough choices, and with today’s billions of pounds being allocated to big businesses and households, 5.5 million small businesses, and the 16 million people who work for them, will be wondering why the choice has been made to overlook them.”
Martin McTague, Federation of Small Businesses National Chair