Budget gives backing for businesses to grow

Mar 19, 2014

That is the verdict of Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, soon after Mr Osborne sat down at the end of his speech to the House of Commons.

Mr Griffiths (pictured) said: “The package of measures announced by the Chancellor in his fifth budget goes a long way to supporting businesses growth and investment.

“It is right that the government should focus on creating jobs and investing in the future. By extending the grant to support extra apprenticeships, more smaller companies will be encouraged to take on fresh talent.

“We also need a budget which is on the side of exporters and manufacturers and these business-friendly announcements are a step in the right direction, and will hopefully encourage more companies in Milton Keynes to consider exporting and continue making products.
 

“All in all, we welcome the Chancellor’s budget however what businesses need is a long-term plan that will help rebuild the economy and get it moving so it’s back on track.”

 

Good news for private business, says tax expert

THE BUDGET brought good news for private business in Milton Keynes who are seeking to fuel growth through investment and exports, says Gary Telford, tax partner at PwC in Milton Keynes.

“Private businesses have told us time and time again they are focused on growth over the next few years, so today’s Budget brought some good news for those businesses in Milton Keynes seeking to invest or expand.  

“Access to finance and tax relief for investment is critical for any business especially those wishing to expand, so the news that the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme has been made permanent and the Annual Investment Allowance has been increased to £500,000 until the end of 2015 is very welcome.

“The Government has also introduced measures to offer the best export finance in Europe, which will undoubtedly be good news for private businesses in Milton Keynes seeking to grow or kick start their exports.

 

"Lending for exports has been doubled and interest rates on that lending has been cut by a third." 

There was further good news for private businesses in the manufacturing sector, with the Chancellor announcing that he will reduce energy costs to help Milton Keynes and the UK to remain a competitive location for manufacturing.

"Although as usual, more detail is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of the capping of the Carbon Price Support," said Mr Telford.

 “Also for entrepreneurs who want to protect wealth and provide for the future, there was a very welcome announcement on the proposals to overhaul the rules on how pensions can be taken from defined contribution schemes, which will provide a lot more flexibility and control.”
 

‘Small business is at the heart of future growth’

Tim Blake, Head of Tax at KPMG in Milton Keynes said: “The Chancellor delivered a Budget today which put the SME community firmly at the centre of future UK economic growth with a stream of measures to help them invest, innovate, grow and export.”

He welcomed measures including:
  • Doubling the Annual Investment Allowance;
  • From next month, 100% tax relief in year one on investment in plant and machinery up to £500,000. 

“This relief isn’t due to expire now until the end of 2015 giving a longer term incentive for SMEs to invest and expand their businesses,” said Mr Blake.

“For those SMEs who do more than make, but also innovate, the increase in refundable R&D tax credits will give these businesses more cash to invest during their early years before they achieve profitability, which can deliver vital funding for the high tech sector in particular.

“Recognising that skills and talent are at the heart of any business, the Chancellor took further steps to help SMEs invest in filling their skills gap with a funding packing for an extra 100,000 apprenticeships over the next two years.  

“Good news for businesses and young people looking to get a foothold in to work, and develop the skills that they need for a long-term career.”
 
Businesses will also be helped by a package of measures aimed at reducing the cost of energy and fuel, particularly for those labour-intensive businesses, which in turn will help SMEs and UK business to be more competitive against their European and US counterparts. 

Mr Blake said the Chancellor is seeking to help SMEs as they fly the flag for Britain with the announcements of increased practical support from UKTI and the doubling of Export Finance. 

These measures should help to make this sometimes challenging journey into overseas markets much easier.
 
“There was a further recognition that SMEs play a vital part in the supply chain for the economy as a whole through the £0.5 billion support package for smaller house builders.

“Finally, the Chancellor with a commitment of over £100 million investment in science and technology signalled his belief in the value of harnessing the collective power of small clusters of like minded companies up and down the country, much like we are seeing in Tech City, which will encourage small business start ups and the creation of employment. 

“Helping to support start-ups to that next stage of vital high growth, the Chancellor also made permanent the tax reliefs available to seed investors in these small businesses.

“The only sting in the tail for our SME community was the lack of any firm announcements of new and/or accelerated infrastructure projects. 

"Growing a business is important, but it is a modern infrastructure which SMEs and businesses more generally need to thrive on a global stage and the delay in getting many regional programmes up and running will hinder some of our regional business communities on their journey to growth.” 

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