Budget Special

The UK’s top business lobbying organisation. It aims to influence government policy on a wide range of business matters.

“The chancellor has made clear the UK is open for business. The extra 1p cut in corporation tax will help firms increase investment. Meanwhile, significant changes to entrepreneurs’ taxation will rightly focus much-needed support on businesses with growth potential.”

Industry body that represents the interests of the offshore oil and gas industry in the UK by working closely with companies across the entire sector, governments and other stakeholders to address crucial issues such as taxation.

“The industry is shocked to now be hit by a tax increase that raises the tax rate to at least 62 per cent, with some of the most mature and therefore vulnerable fields now paying up to 81 per cent. Today’s move in the Budget runs counter to the government’s stated desire to promote growth, jobs and exports – all of which this industry was delivering and will now find much more difficult to sustain. Importantly it will also most likely increase this country’s dependence on imported oil and gas and thus diminish its energy security.

At a time when we could see investment recovering following the last period of fiscal instability, this further shock will only damage investor confidence and make many question whether the UK is an appropriate destination for their investment.”

The BBA is the leading trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector and speaks for over 200 member banks

“Banks recognise the importance of their role in securing economic recovery and they understand the need to strike a balance between raising taxes, funding growth and maintaining the UK as a global centre for banking and financial services.
While corporation tax is paid on profits, the bank levy represents an additional fixed cost for larger banks operating in the UK.

It also controversially can include the business that banks are doing outside the UK. Without satisfactory double taxation arrangements in place, this is putting banks operating in the UK at a long term disadvantage – both internationally, as they compete against banks not paying such a levy, and domestically, as they compete with other sectors of the financial services industry.
This change is not as straightforward as it first appears. Banks like other businesses want a predictable tax regime so they can plan their business accordingly."

TheCityUK's purpose is to promote the competitiveness of financial services – to make the UK the best place in the world to establish a financial services business

“The government has taken important steps in the Budget to create the right environment to demonstrate that Britain is indeed ‘open for business’ and capable of competing on a global stage. The chancellor’s commitment to ensure the UK’s place as a leading financial services centre will provide the catalyst for Britain’s private sector growth, attracting large companies and institutions into the UK, as well as providing the necessary conditions to encourage the success of SMEs and facilitate export-led growth.”

The UK’s national trade union body, representing the vast majority of organised workers

“Today's measures do nothing to end the basic error of imposing deep, rapid and unfair spending cuts on an economy where unemployment is rising and growth faltering. While there are some welcome measures on funding for apprenticeships and much needed relief on fuel duty, most of it is about taking us back to the 1980s with deregulation gimmicks, hand-outs to big business and a deterioration of working conditions that failed to deliver jobs or growth then and won’t today. Overall, there was little in the way of help for hard pressed ordinary people fearful for their jobs and reeling from inflation driven by the VAT increase. For the young unemployed the best the chancellor had to offer was cut-price unpaid work experience.”

Sara Murray is a British entrepreneur and businesswoman who founded the price comparison website confused.com and developed buddi, a miniaturised tracking device for vulnerable people

“The changes are a move in the right direction but will not make a noticeable difference. The reduction in corporation tax means that some companies can make a bit more money, but it is too small to change a company’s decision on whether it is based in the UK or not. The government needs to do something significant for high-growth businesses. Data shows that particularly in a recession, it is this 10,000 subset ot companies where high growth comes from.

The R&D tax credit change is good but the government should promote that and the Enterprise Investment Scheme so people know about them and understand their value. Currently most companies don’t apply as they don’t know what they are and see them as complicated and assume they are unlikely to be eligible.

There are two things I wish the government had done – open up public procurement to smaller firms so that they are able to get in on the bigger contracts. And make it easier to hire the first few employees. Currently, smaller firms tend to rely on freelance staff to avoid the excessive paperwork involved in hiring full-time staff.

Institute of Directors (IoD) provides support and information for business leaders as well as political analysis

“The IoD welcomes the acceleration in the reduction in Corporation Tax to 26 per cent. The IoD also welcomes the very clear statement that the 50 per cent rate of income tax is a temporary measure. The 50 per cent rate will damage long term economic prospects and needs to be repealed as soon as possible. We welcome the raft of supply side measures announced in the Budget. The combination of reduced corporation tax and planning liberalisation will help to lift business confidence at a difficult time. However, the scale of deregulation in areas that really matter to business in general, such as employment law, is still very limited. And while the 21 new enterprise zones have real potential, we question why the whole of the UK can’t be an enterprise zone. This was a Budget aimed at changing perceptions and boosting business confidence about long-term economic prospects in the UK.”

The aa
The UK’s largest motoring organisation which provides services to get you safely from A to B

“We applaud the chancellor's decision to listen to the AA campaign to cut fuel duty rather than hike it by 5p a litre. A £2.50-a-tank hike would have been the last straw for poorer drivers who spend a quarter of their household income on motoring. However, with jittery stock markets and tensions in North Africa pushing the oil price back into the $115-$120-a-barrel price range, pressure on pump prices and inflation could grow again. The increased approved mileage rates from 40p to 45p are long over-due and very helpful. Companies have been insulated against higher fuel costs while employees, charity workers and midwives using their own cars for work have borne the burden and in effect taken a pay-cut.”