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2016 Budget: The business reaction

16 Mar 2016

Business groups have responded to the measures announced within Chancellor George Osborne’s 2016 Budget speech.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has hailed the Chancellor’s Budget as being ‘stable’, with Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn stating: ‘After a year of surprises, this was a stable Budget for business facing global stormy waters.

‘Businesses will welcome the Chancellor’s permanent reforms to business rates – taking more small firms out of the regime and changing the uprating mechanism from RPI to CPI, which the CBI has long been calling for.’

Mike Cherry, Policy Director at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the changes made to the business rates system: ‘The combined measures announced on business rates – the single biggest tax cut in today’s Budget – will be viewed by our members as a welcome and important step on the road to fundamental reform’.

Similarly, Simon Walker, Director-General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), voiced his support for new measures designed to aid small and medium-sized businesses, stating: ‘There was plenty in the Budget for small and medium-sized businesses. They will welcome measures, including more relief on business rates and cuts to Capital Gains Tax, and a further corporation tax reduction coming in a few years’.

Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented upon the Chancellor’s forecasts for the UK economy: ‘Far from increasing growth, he’s had to downgrade his forecasts and accept that his plan is failing on productivity and pay.

‘A fair Budget for the next generation would have delivered far more investment in infrastructure, jobs and homes and fewer eye-catching gimmicks.’ 

British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Acting Director-General Dr Adam Marshall praised the Chancellor for his ‘steady, workman-like Budget’, commenting: ‘The Chancellor listened to our calls to avoid higher business taxes and costs – and indeed moved to lower them in a number of cases’.