CBI praises Budget strengths

Published:  22 March, 2012

LONDON: The CBI today gave its full reaction to the Chancellor's Budget speech. "Family budgets have been under great pressure, and by putting more money in the pockets of ordinary people, the Chancellor has provided a much-needed confidence boost,"said  CBI director-general John Cridland.

"The Chancellor has also painted a clearer vision of how the UK will earn its living in the future and, by seizing the opportunity to make sure our corporate tax system is more internationally competitive, he has sent a powerful signal to companies to invest, do business and create jobs in the UK.

 "An extra 1% off corporation tax this year could make a big difference to investment intentions. Plans to reduce the top rate of tax to 45p by April 2013 will show best and aspiring talent that this Government wants them to create wealth here.

"With many calls on the Chancellor to spend money he didn't have, the best news for businesses is that he stuck to his guns and delivered a fiscally neutral programme.

"If businesses were looking for more, it was in the area of deregulation. For smaller businesses, things may not feel very different on the ground. It would have also have been a huge relief if the Chancellor had taken the opportunity to get rid of the currently unworkable Carbon Reduction Commitment.

"The additional cut in the headline rate of corporation tax will help make the UK a more attractive place for companies to invest, do business and create jobs. It puts a rate of 20% within our reach," he said.

The CBI was also pleased to note that reducing the 50p income tax rate would send a clear signal that the UK is open for business. "We must continue to encourage top talent to live and work in the UK," said Mr Cridland.

 "The Business Finance Partnership is an innovative way of matching previously untapped private finance with demand. Doubling the incentive under the enterprise management scheme will enable entrepreneurial, high-risk companies to motivate their staff. Increasing the government's risk sharing under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee will make banks more able to boost small business lending."

He added that the Government was wasting its time by announcing yet another consultation on the Carbon Reduction Commitment, rather than getting on with scrapping this complex and bureaucratic scheme."

"The National Planning Policy Framework, and in particular the presumption in favour of sustainable development, will help to give businesses confidence to invest in critical local infrastructure when it is launched next week.

"The new planning framework should encourage local authorities to help boost growth while striking the right balance with social and environmental sustainability.

"The new Enterprise Zones announced today will help support greater economic activity right across the UK. These new zones will encourage investment and give business a strong incentive to expand activity creating jobs in parts of the country that need them most," Mr Cridland stated.

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