Opinion torn on George Osborne’s Budget plans

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George Osborne unveiled his Budget to Parliament this week and has received mixed reviews.

The Chancellor boasted record employment figures and fast economic growth, though business judgement on the Budget was divided.

Alex Till, Chief Executive at Menta Suffolk Enterprise Agency, felt the Budget would help many people but businesses had been left wanting. He said: “The cancellation of the fuel duty increase is good news, however a rise in the minimum wage rates for adults, youth and apprentices may dampen small business enthusiasm for employing more staff.”

John Dugmore, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, agreed about fuel duty but wanted business rates to get some attention. He said: “Business Rates being reviewed is welcome, but needs to happen and bear fruit as soon as possible.”

First time buyers and savers were given a boost though, with a ‘help to buy’ ISA, which the government would top up by £50 for every £200 saved for a deposit and an increased annual saving limits for ISAs to £15,240.

Keith Senior, Director at Jacobs Allen Accountants, said about the saving ideas: “The Chancellor has tried to give a reasonable amount to modest savers by increasing flexibility in opportunities to save, it is quite an interesting development.”

Others to benefit were East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), which received a grant for a second new helicopter. Patrick Peal, EAAA`s Chief Executive, said: “We are enormously grateful for this one-off grant from the Treasury, it will enhance the lifesaving service we provide for local people.”

Other announcements included a duty cut on Beer, Cider and Spirits, a freeze of duty for tobacco and wine as well as Farmers allowed to average incomes for tax purposes over five years.