Budget will go down well with industry

Business leaders expect blueprint for stability and enterprise

AGAINST a background of roaring stock markets despite EU-US trade war fears, business leaders told the Independent on Sunday last week they expected to applaud Gordon Brown's Budget on Tuesday as a blueprint for economic stability and enterprise.

"We're upbeat," said Kate Barker, chief economist for the Confederation of British Industry. "We're confident our messages have been heard."

The healthy state of public finances gives the Chancellor room to cut taxes or raise spending. But business leaders believe he will announce a fiscally neutral Budget.

"We expect the headline out of the Budget to be the introduction of a new 10p rate of tax," Ms Barker said. "But we don't expect the cost of the lower band to be paid for by business."

Instead, the CBI and individual businessmen are looking for a pause in the introduction of new business taxes. "A great many have been introduced over the past two years. We need time to digest them," Ms Barker said.

Small businesses will be looking for new measures consistent with the Government's aim of helping them to grow their operations to sufficient scale to compete in world markets. "We anticipate new tax allowances for R&D spending for small business," said Ruth Lea, head of the policy unit at the Institute of Directors. "We think the Chancellor may make his temporary 100 per cent allowance on first-year capital spending by small business permanent."

Ms Lea said she did not expect the small business measures "to change the shape of the world". But she and others agreed that Mr Brown's focus on boosting enterprise, with specific measures to support that theme, could help create a more risk-taking business culture in the medium term.

"Anything and everything the Budget does to help foster, promote, aid and create an enterprise economy is good," said Mark Dixon, chief executive of privately held Regus, the world's largest operator of business centres. "Over the next 10 years, the key to the economy's success will not be how many large corporations we have, but how many small, fast entrepreneurial businesses."

While saying they expected good news on Tuesday, business leaders expressed a few concerns. The CBI believes the economy needs to be stimulated but wants the stimulation to come not from the Treasury but the Bank of England, in the form of further interest-rate cuts.

Mr Dixon worried that anticipated tax breaks to encourage employee share ownership schemes would cover publicly owned, but not privately owned companies.

"Most successful start-ups begin as private companies," he said. "It's then they need share ownership schemes to attract good employees."

John Dyson, finance director of West Yorkshire-based Pace Micro Technology, a manufacturer of television receivers and decoders, worried that the buoyancy of the economy in the South-east was masking a genuine risk of recession in the rest of the country.

"We would like to see an increase in personal allowances greater than the rate of inflation," he said. "Up here in the north of England there are signs the economy is stalled."

Mr Dyson also worried that Mr Brown's Budget speech would sidestep the crucial issue of the relationship between the domestic economy and the EU economy as a whole.

"We operate as if it's a one-world market," he said. "We'd support greater harmonisation of taxes."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments