Businesses react to Budget
Budget measures for small firms will be too late, according to
John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of
While welcoming much for business in the Chancellor's speech,
including scrapping the rise on fuel duty, and putting £3.5bn into
helping buyers afford new homes, he said Mr Osborne should have
done more to support enterprise and growth, such as scrapping
damaging increases in business rates.
"We are at an unprecedented moment in economic history, and the
government should be doing everything in its power to get the
"Many of the Chancellor’s measures were targeted at larger
corporates, and those that will benefit smaller companies will not
take effect until 2015, which is too late. We need urgency, scale
and delivery today."
Businesses would have wished he had been more radical in the
pursuit of growth.
But Nick Paterno, managing partner of accounting firm McBrides,
said the Budget would have minimal impact on Kent
He said the £2,000-a-year allowance offset against employers’
national insurance contributions from April 2014 was useful “but
too little to directly encourage greater employment."
"The Chancellor had very little room for manoeuvre and the
impact for businesses in Kent and the South East will be minimal,"
“In our view it’s very much a case of businesses ploughing on
without any significant Government support, help or incentivisation
until confidence returns to the economy."
Andy Golding, chief executive of OneSavingsBank and Kent
Reliance, welcomed the attempt to stimulate the housing market.
“The extensions to the home buy scheme and the £130bn of
mortgage guarantee, when combined with the Funding for Lending
scheme which is already in operation, have the potential to make a
significant difference to the housing market over the next few
years,” he said.
But the Budget had done nothing for savers, apart from a tiny
tax cut on interest.
“A bit less tax on savers’ interest in real terms generates very
little economic impact, where as a functioning and competitive
mortgage market has impact not just on people's ability to buy and
move, but also the associated manufacturing and trade employment
that goes hand in hand with a more buoyant market.”
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame toasted the 1p a
pint cut in beer duty and scrapping the escalator after years of
The Faversham brewer has long argued that, given support, pubs
and restaurants can create jobs faster than almost any other
sector. “It is fantastic to see the government recognise the
importance of British beer and pubs,” he said.
“By scrapping the beer duty escalator and then reducing beer
duty by a penny a pint the Chancellor has provided a great boost
for the sector.
"British beer was on course to become the most heavily taxed in
Europe which, in turn, would have put an unsustainable burden on
the country’s brewing and pub sector.
Shepherd Neame chief
executive Jonathan Neame
“Today’s announcement is a clear statement that the government
recognises the industry’s valuable contribution to both the economy
and society at large.”
The Budget restores small business confidence and encourages
growth and job creation, a delighted lobby group said.
Pleased that the Chancellor had adopted several of its
recommendations, the Federation of Small Businesses in Kent and
Medway urged members to seize the Chancellor’s wide ranging package
of measures to support the economy.
It hailed the employer’s National Insurance allowance as a bold
move, saying that small enterprises would not have to pay
contributions (NICs) under £2,000.
Roger House, FSB Chairman for Kent and Medway, said: “Kent FSB
asked the Chancellor and local MPs for a budget for small
businesses and this is what has been delivered. This Budget opens
the door for small firms to grow and create jobs.
“The Chancellor has pulled out all the stops with a wide-ranging
package of measures to support small firms.”
"Until today it was looking likely that we might lose a whole generation of homeowners" – Alan Robinson
One estate agent
claimed the Chancellor’s support for the housing market should
avert a lost generation of homeowners and open the floodgates for
Alan Robinson of Robinson Michael & Jackson, which has nine
outlets in Kent and Medway, said a £130 billiion underwriting
package for the mortgage guarantee and New Buy schemes should “open
the floodgates" for buyers currently priced out of the mortgage
“Until today it was looking likely that we might lose a whole
generation of homeowners," he said.
"That would have been tragic as home ownership is such a
cornerstone of our society.
"Suddenly there are more positives than negatives in the
property market and this should encourage a new raft of buyers and
He added: “We have been crying out for help from either the
government or mortgage lenders and today the Chancellor has finally
delivered some good news.
"As a company trading for over 50 years in the middle-to-lower
end of the property market we have helped thousands of first-time
buyers get a foot on the property ladder.
“However, the last five years have seen would-be homeowners
thwarted by lenders looking for deposits in excess of 5% in order
to secure the more affordable interest rates."
The New Buy scheme involves a new home buyer paying a 5%
deposit, with a further 20% underwritten by the Government.
It applies to any new home up to £600,000.
Good for growth and jobs despite a few disappointments.
That’s how Nicholas Gabay, partner at law firm Thomson Snell
& Passmore, with offices in Tunbridge Wells and Greenhithe,
summed up the Budget.
He said that many cries for help from small businesses had been
ignored, notably lower business rates, higher bank lending and more
investment in high streets.
“Despite these reservations, we believe the measures are better
for small and medium sized businesses than most probably hoped for,
so we feel quite optimistic that they will encourage business
growth and more jobs.”
Mr Gabay added: “We look forward to seeing how the proposal for
capital gains relief on sales of businesses to employees will be
"The intention must be to resuscitate management buy-out
opportunities, but without much evidence of banks increasing
lending to facilitate buy-outs, it is questionable how realistic an
incentive this relief will be for business owners or their
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