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Welcome for Osborne's budget

There’s been a generally positive reaction to the 2011 Budget from industry movers and shakers. John Cridland, CBI director general, said: “It will help businesses grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has made it clear that the UK is open for business.” This was supported by the news that marketing giant WPP is considering moving its head office back to the UK after three years as a ‘tax exile’ in Dublin.

Key points affecting businesses, announced by the Chancellor included:

• An extra 1p cut in corporation tax
• Reductions in business red tape to make it easier for companies to take on extra staff and invest.
• A cut in the price of petrol and diesel by 1p and the postponement of the planned 4p fuel escalator rise in excise duty until 2012.
• Proposed simplification of National Insurance.
• A widened scope for the Enterprise Investment Scheme to bridge the funding gap for SMEs.

On jobs, the chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) commented: “Recruiters will be pleased to see the concrete steps announced to help businesses grow and take on new staff.”

On fuel, Steve Agg, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics added: “This step will assist hard-pressed freight and passenger transport operators who have struggled with the consequences of high price prices resulting from the 35p increase in the price of oil over the last five months.”

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