A Budget for Businesses?

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Nick Moules
19th March 2014

George Osborne’s latest budget has been largely welcomed by those in business. “A resilient economy is a more balanced economy with more exports, more building, more investment – and more manufacturing too”, said Mr Osborne.

We’ve outlined some of the key points for business owners:

Our reaction

We’re pleased that Vince Cable reiterated the need for the business finance market to become more competitive in his reaction. It would have been nice to see a reduction in National Insurance contributions, but the extension of grants for small businesses that take on apprentices is welcomed – we need to look after the next generation of workers.

It is great news for businesses looking to grow that the Annual Investment Allowance has been doubled to £500,000 and that peer-to-peer lending will be included in ISAs – this creates a new wave of would-be lenders into the industry.

Enterprise Zones

Hailing the success of the Enterprise Zones, Mr Osborne announced the extension of business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances for a further three years.

Housebuilding

Unsurprisingly, housebuilding received further support. A £500m finance package for small housebuilders  was announced as well as the extension of Help to Buy on new homes for the rest of the decade.

Exports

Lending for export finance is to be doubled to £3bn and interest rates cut by a third.

“Britain has to up its game on exports and we should be backing businesses wanting to trade overseas”, said Mr Osborne.

The CBI’s view

John Cridland, Director General of the CBI welcomed measures to increase investment in energy for businesses struggling with its costs with a £7bn package, the consolidation of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and the extension of the R&D tax credit:

“The CBI has pushed hard for this significant and much-needed energy package that will help keep manufacturing jobs in the UK, while underpinning vital investment in new energy.

“The doubling and extension of the Annual Investment Allowance, together with making the seed enterprise investment scheme permanent, will be a shot in the arm for many medium-sized businesses.

“The extension of the R&D tax credit will boost early stage, innovative businesses which can often be loss-making in their early years”, he said.

 

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