Posted by

Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs

21 Mar 2012

While the accelerated reduction in Corporation Tax, as well as the continued commitment to deficit reduction, are both reasons for businesses to be cheerful, we are disappointed that action was not taken today to prevent the coming ‘Great Business Rates Robbery’, and by the absence of incentives to boost investment and employment by SMEs in the real economy.

Here at the BCC, we can’t help but feel that the Chancellor could have done more to help the small- and medium-sized companies that are at the heart of local economies up and down the UK. Corporation Tax reductions are undeniably positive, but will benefit the biggest companies the most. At the other end of the spectrum, changes to tax rules may help three million companies, but these are the tiniest in the land, with turnover of under £77,000 per annum.

We can be heartened by a number of the Chancellor’s decisions, including commitments to deliver planning reforms, which the BCC has campaigned for; to finally getting on with Tax Increment Financing in England; to incentives for Enterprise Areas in Scotland and Wales; and to devolving decisions on Air Passenger Duty to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Yet I was hoping for more radical steps to support the solid-citizen employers in cities and towns up and down the land who have kept this country afloat during a period of protracted economic uncertainty.

You can find our full reaction to the Chancellor’s Budget statement by following this link.