Firms gloomy on prospects of budget boosting UK’s growth

 
Ben Southwood
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ONLY around a third of businesses believe that chancellor George Osborne’s 2013 budget will lift the country’s economic prospects, a survey revealed this morning.

Just 36 per cent of firms told BDO surveyors they thought this year’s budget would boost economic growth, the accounting firm said, with only slightly more thinking that the package of measures would lift the UK’s attractiveness as a location for investment.

Half of firms said the budget would not have a direct positive impact on their business – versus a third who said it would.

And while 43 per cent said the measures Osborne announced, which include cuts to corporation tax and national insurance contributions – known as the jobs tax, would ease pressure on businesses, just 23 per cent said they would respond to them by even considering hiring extra staff.

Moreover nearly two thirds said they could not confidently draw the defining line between unacceptable avoidance and legitimate tax planning, despite a fresh assault from Osborne on firms lightening tax loads.