Home Business NewsBusiness Sorry George Osborne, but here are 6 reasons why the Autumn Statement was rubbish

Sorry George Osborne, but here are 6 reasons why the Autumn Statement was rubbish

by LLB Editor
25th Nov 15 2:46 pm

Going by personal ratings, George Osborne is the most unpopular of all Conservatives.

Only 15% of voters think Chancellor George Osborne can become Britain’s next prime minister.

Even on a ranking of sexiest MPs, he ranks 113.

And today’s Autumn Statement didn’t help his case either. Take a look at the 5 reasons why the Autumn Statement disappointed, according to London entrepreneurs. (To be fair, the Autumn Statement wasn’t all bad news, here’s the good news.)


1. Osborne’s measures not enough to drive success in technology and entrepreneurship

Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Powa Technologies, said:

“Last week George Osborne announced his ambitions to make London ‘the global centre for fintech’, but to see this become reality he must abide by his commitment to provide ‘a space where innovation can happen’. The cut of 17% for the Department for Business and Innovation has been obfuscated by the chancellor’s announcement of £165m in grants through InnovateUK, and the extension of the small businesses rate relief scheme. These measures will not be enough to drive global innovative success in technology and entrepreneurship. 

“Osborne may have recognised the importance of the private sector in his Statement, but his recognition of the need for competitive tax rates should measure up to his actions. Going forward, to ensure London becomes a hub for fintech and promotes innovation, the government must create an environment that allows tech firms to thrive. That means an environment that encourages growth and one in which firms do not have to go aboard for investment.”

2. “Short-sighted government failed to address the slowdown at the top-end”

Robin Paterson, chairman, United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty, said:

“George Osborne has pledged £7bn to tackle home ownership issues in this country, but it is a shame he did not do more for all aspects of the UK market in today’s Autumn Statement. The additional 3% stamp duty on second homes is a fair way of raising funds however, by not altering excessive stamp duty levies that must be paid on top-tier UK homes, he has missed an opportunity to provide a major boost to the property market and encourage top-end activity.

“I feel that this is short-sighted by the government as they have failed to address the slowdown at the top-end of the market and an increase in activity would have inevitably boosted Treasury receipts. The chancellor could have put new, fairer stamp duty levels in place as so many London family homes, even in secondary areas, breach the £1.5m+ barrier. The six or seven-figure tax bills being paid for the highest value homes seems out of proportion with the Government’s other housing policies, which encourage activity.”


3. “Today’s announcements threatens R&D”

Dr Caroline Elston-Giroud, European grants manager:

“Today’s announcement threatens to strangle the significant role R&D can play in helping cutting-edge businesses improve productivity and gain competitive advantage – both here in the UK and across the globe. 

“Under the current R&D grant system estimates show private rates of return for R&D investment of around 30% – a key driver for building a strong foundation for economic security. The positive impact of the current R&D funding shouldn’t be ignored when it clearly provides a valuable opportunity for businesses to bolster their financial position and, in turn, aid the UK’s long-term economic success.”


4. “Osborne ignored sharing economy

Debbie Wosskow, chair of SEUK, the UK’s sharing economy trade body, and founder and CEO of Love Home Swap:

“2015 has been an incredible year for the sharing economy. Since the launch of my government-commissioned report in November 2014, we’ve seen the launch of Sharing Economy UK and I for one have been delighted to see this government’s dedication to exploring and supporting the sharing economy, for example with an openness to addressing outdated regulation.

“This is why I am disappointed today that more hasn’t been done to support the individuals who want to supplement their income by renting out spare rooms, unused storage or space in their driveways. A sharing economy tax relief would encourage individuals to unlock previously unused or under-used assets, helping these microentrepreneurs to make and save money. What’s more, changes from the Government on this matter would be a bold statement that the UK is leading the charge globally in best harnessing the sharing economy.

“We did see some changes on this matter earlier this year, when the chancellor announced changes to the Rent-a-Room allowance, meaning that from April 2016 homeowners will be able to earn £7,500 tax-free by renting out a room in their property, up from the current limit of £4,250. But more can be done by extending this tax relief to £10,000 and also broadening the remit to include driveways and unused storage.

“We have made huge progress in 2015, but I am confident more can be done in 2016.”


5. “Government’s economic policy may drive Britain into recession

Labour’s biggest individual donor and millionaire business tycoon John Mills:

“A major concern which I have about the government’s economic policy is that I do not believe it will get the government deficit down.  I don’t believe that this is caused by government spending being too high.

“On the contrary I think the government deficit is largely a mirror image of the balance of payments deficit and without getting rid of this the government deficit will never be eliminated. If this is right, it means that targeting government deficit reduction by austerity programmes is completely misconceived.  They won’t reduce the deficit significantly, if at all, but they will drive the economy into recession.”


6. “Spending Review’s victims will be the low-paid, the unemployed, the insecurely employed and disabled, and the young”

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett:

“This Spending Review doesn’t add up, in economic, social or environmental terms. It is becoming clearer by the day that Chancellor George Osborne’s plans aren’t working even in his own terms and are causing massive destruction to the foundations of British life – our communities, our public services, our small businesses, our natural environment.

“The callous and counter-productive policy of austerity is not delivering the deficit and debt cuts Osborne promised.

“The chancellor has been forced by the House of Lords to abandon his cuts to tax credit, but he is still reducing both in-work and out-of-work benefits. Today he has put yet more barriers in the way of the millions of households for whom the highest possible aspiration can be keeping their heads above water.

“The beneficiaries of this Spending Review will be large private sector firms, such as housebuilders. The victims will be the low-paid, the unemployed, the insecurely employed and disabled, and the young.

“Barely featuring in this Spending Review is a recognition that our economic prosperity relies on a healthy natural environment and that unpolluted air, clean water, local green space and healthy soil are crucial for our economy.”  


Now read:

Holborn station

5 top stories from elsewhere you missed during the Autumn Statement


Rotherhithe Bridge

Revealed: London to get a new £88m bridge across the River Thames


Cement mixer construction

Autumn statement: Osborne announces “largest housebuilding programme since 1970s”

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