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2015 Budget: the business reaction

18 Mar 2015

CBI Director-General, John Cridland, said: ‘It’s positive that the Government has accepted the independent Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendations on the adult and youth rates. The Commission struck a careful balance, helping many low-paid workers without damaging their job prospects’.

However, he voiced concern that the Government chose to increase the minimum wage for apprentices to higher than recommended.

EY Managed Services Partner, Graeme Swan, reacted to plans to completely abolish self-assessment tax returns, saying it is ‘a necessity and a reality in the digital world we live in. The move to an online individual tax account will make it much easier and simpler for customers’.

In response to the proposed pensions changes, allowing individuals to trade their annuities, TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: It’s hard to see how such a trade in so-called ‘death bonds’ could work without a strong risk that many retired people will get a poor deal’.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: ‘The Budget unveiled today recognises both short-term and electoral horizons and long-term economic needs. The Chancellor’s focus on business growth and prosperity will receive a warm welcome from businesses of all sizes’.

‘Businesses in every corner of the UK want more sustainable public finances, and they also want governments to take steps to support growth. Once again, it appears that the Chancellor has pulled off a difficult balancing act, maintaining fiscal discipline while ensuring that necessary deficit reduction doesn’t undermine the UK’s growth prospects.’