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2011 Budget: the business reaction

Business groups have given their reactions to the Chancellor’s 2011 Budget Statement.

Following the Chancellor’s Speech, John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said, ‘This Budget will help businesses grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has made clear the UK is open for business’.

The CBI welcomed the extra 1p cut in corporation tax and the reductions in regulations for businesses, together with proposals to improve the planning system and measures to address the impact of the high cost of fuel.

However, the business group expressed concern over the plans to increase taxes on North Sea oil and gas, which it said could be ‘counterproductive’.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the Budget announcements, but warned that there we not sufficient measures to incentivise job creation.

John Walker, national chairman of the FSB, said, ‘The Government has committed to cutting red tape, but we believe new employment laws will still come into force in this year, which could hinder businesses from taking on staff. The biggest opportunity missing from the Budget is by not extending the NICs holiday nationwide to existing businesses, which would really have provided incentives for small firms to take on more staff’.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) also welcomed several of the short-term measures to boost enterprise, but argued that more long-term measures were needed to enable small businesses to ‘truly drive economic growth and job creation’.