Home Business News 10 reasons the Budget was a real letdown

10 reasons the Budget was a real letdown

by LLB Editor
18th Mar 15 2:57 pm

George Osborne’s sixth Budget today, much like his grey tie, was boring. Here’s why

1. “We need significant investments, not token investments”

Drew Nicholson, CEO of OgilvyOne dnx, said:

“George Osborne said it was all about ‘choices’ but it’s not just the headlines that count, the devil is in the detail.

“I am most interested in the impact on business. Backing Fintech, great. Backing the creative industries, great. Supporting science and the Internet of Things, great.

“But we need significant not token investments to allow the UK to stay ahead in these industries – particularly as they are the ones where London is strong and they’re the ones that will drive future commercial growth – from start-ups to large enterprises.

“Will his ‘investments’ work for London and will they be significant enough to make the difference we need? We’ll see in the first budget AFTER the election.”

2. “George Osborne missed his final chance to support the small firms”

Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business, said:

“Today’s Budget, perhaps George Osborne’s final one, was a missed opportunity for the coalition to finally get behind the UK’s smallest businesses.

“There are elements that make little sense for the economic recovery. Removing the right to benefits for under 25s sends a worrying signal that the coalition is giving up on young people, right when they need the most help. It is these individuals who will build the economy of the future, and we need to support them.

“But just as importantly, George Osborne missed his final chance to support the small firms who form the beating heart of the UK economy. The proposed review of business rates doesn’t go nearly far enough – small firms need action on this regressive tax today, not in a year’s time.

“Just as importantly, today sole traders and micro-businesses needed to see a proper cut in fuel duty to ensure that the thousands who rely on their vehicles for work can fulfil their potential.”

3. “Boring budget – broadband investment ignored”

Jason Downes, managing director of conference call service providers, Powwownow, said:

“Yet again, another boring budget with no surprises. I am very disappointed that broadband investment was a subject that was referenced in the build-up to the Budget and yet was not discussed. [Editor’s note: Broadband was mentioned but no new measures were announced]

“The government claim to want to encourage SMEs and technology companies to flourish but again our digital economy was unfortunately not an area touched upon this time around, again.

“Year after year, Britain is slipping outside the top 10 nations for internet speed. The quality of our internet access isn’t as good as you would expect with the resources we have available. People in other countries find it astounding when they come to the UK that they can’t do business in certain places due to a lack of internet connection.”

4. “No investment for the digital economy”

Anthony Sherick, MD at specialist IT jobsite, Technojobs, said:

“The chancellor failed to mention investing in the future of our digital economy. There is an ever-growing demand for digital specialists who can help embed and install complex systems into pre-existing infrastructures. The current skills shortage in the IT/tech industry is prompting more employers to turn to skilled contractors to ensure work levels are maintained.

“Contractors play a critical role in the success of UK businesses – The government should have continued to support entrepreneurial spirit and must not curb this enthusiasm with the extension of tax restrictions on contractors. These workers are the lifeblood of the UK’s IT/tech sector, with their expertise shared across many different verticals. If their role is limited due to tax, this will stifle productivity and the stunt the growth of our digital economy.”

5. “No clear and concise guidelines on tax avoidance”

Vince McLoughlin, partner at tax advisors Russell New, said:

“Anti-avoidance tax measures had to be featured, especially within this Budget so close to a general election. This is a simple way to demonstrate to the general public that the chancellor is tough on those trying to avoid paying their fair share at a time when paying tax has become a moral issue and the funds raised can be used to pay for the other appealing measures.

“From an SME’s perspective, without clear and concise guidelines and rolling updates on exactly what is allowable, many were faced with the fear of potential legal and fiscal consequences, therefore were becoming more and more reticent to take advantage of the tax breaks available.

“These types of concerns, whilst reasonable in light of recent history with tax avoidance amongst multi-nationals, can put them under unnecessary financial pressure rather than giving them the freedom they need to grow.”

6. “Budget didn’t deliver on skills shortages”

Sonia Blizzard, MD at Beaming, an internet and telephony services company, said:

“Recent reports have shown that concerns about hiring employees with the right combination of skills are still very much alive. 78% of executives are looking for a broader range of skills when hiring than they did in the past and only 5% are confident that they can secure exactly the right skill-set that’s needed.

“With these figures in mind, I am very surprised that there is not more to come from the government in terms of offering more resources towards the skills shortages. After all, technology is developing all the time and it is something that businesses and individuals rely upon daily. It is up to the government to invest in these technology companies to keep them alive and with that comes investment in skills development.”

7. “No mention of tackling London’s air pollution”

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said:

“There are some measures in this Budget which I strongly support, such as the extra funding for mental health services and taking more low-paid people out of paying income tax by lifting the tax threshold.

“However there are two key areas where the budget is disappointing. Firstly, the chancellor has failed to address the long-standing tax incentives for diesel vehicles. It is simply a nonsense that there are tax incentives to purchase diesel vehicles when they contribute so significantly to air pollution.  

“Secondly, the Chancellor could have done far more to support more affordable homes being built.

“Tackling London’s air pollution and addressing London’s housing crisis are still not getting the priorities they deserve.”

8. “Economic lunacy to stoke up housing demand with taxpayers’ money

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“Not for the first time, the chancellor has delivered a mixed bag of measures while glossing over the shocking state of the public finances. There were far too many politically motivated commitments designed for easy headlines, when the challenge is not to spend money in marginal constituencies but to save it.

On the announcement of a “Help to Buy ISA,” he continued, “it is economic lunacy to stoke up demand in the housing market with taxpayers’ money, when the problem is restrictive planning laws strangling supply and pushing up house prices.”

On the subject of the debt and the deficit, he continued: “The chancellor shows some cheek to claim he is correcting the mistakes of his predecessors, when he has presided over a huge explosion in the national debt to more than £1.4 trillion.”

9. “Walking tall…but what about education?

Michael Mercieca, CEO of national education charity Young Enterprise, said:

“Whilst recent annou
ncements such as the 20% apprentice wage rise are positive, we had hoped to see more commitment to support education in this year’s Budget. We can see from this morning’s labour statistics that youth unemployment is still at triple the headline rate. Delivering financial and enterprise education to primary school children and making it a statutory part of the curriculum will increase financial literacy and financial inclusion.

“It is imperative that we invest in our young people in order to improve young people’s life chances and strengthen their communities and the UK’s economy.”

10. “We don’t need more housing projects that Britons can’t afford”

Thomas Villeneuve, CEO and founder of flatsharing network Weroom, said:

“With 4.5 million people currently renting in the UK, a figure that is expected to increase by 1.5 million next year, today was an opportunity for the government introduce policies to help the nation’s growing network of flatsharers and flatsharing companies, not introduce new housing projects that young Britons can’t afford.

“A lot of government policies have been focused on helping people buy properties, but whilst affordable housing schemes are great, many are just looking for greater benefits through renting. This is because people are now looking toward renting as a more long term solution and alternative to property ownership.”


Now read:

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