Both up­beat and ‘dis­ap­point­ing’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update -

EN­TER­PRIS­ING bosses of small firms in Peter­bor­ough have backed the Chan­cel­lor’s emer­gency bud­get as a jobs cre­ator for the city.

Own­ers and man­agers say that Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne’s pack­age of tax cuts de­signed to cut the nation’s bal­loon­ing multi-bil­lion pound debt, will help em­ploy­ers to build their firms and take on more staff.

Paul Smith, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of lo­cal en­gi­neer­ing firm Global Re­bar Ser­vices, Fen­gate, Peter­bor­ough, which em­ploys four staff, said: “Cut­ting na­tional in­surance will help busi­nesses to em­ploy peo­ple, and the £1,000 rise in Per­sonal Al­lowances from next April is good news. The low­er­ing of cor­po­ra­tion tax to 24 per cent by 2014 is also wel­come. Over­all, the Bud­get is not half as bad as I had ex­pected.”

Andy Vaughan, owner of Cre­dence, a busi­ness con­sul­tancy based in Ram­sey, near Peter­bor­ough, said: “I am pleased that both the thresh­old at which em­ploy­ers start to pay na­tional in­surance will rise above in­dex­a­tion and cor­po­ra­tion tax will re­duce giv­ing a boost to small busi­nesses across the re­gion to aid the re­cov­ery.”

On the much-trailed Cap­i­tal Gains Tax, there were “gen­er­ous ex­emp­tions” for busi­ness as­sets, ac­cord­ing to Stephen Collins, part­ner at ac­coun­tancy firm Saf­fery Champ­ness.

John Chill­cott, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Peter­bor­ough-based Anglia Co­op­er­a­tive, which em­ploys 3,200 peo­ple, said the de­ci­sion to raise VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent was sen­si­ble and should not dampen con­sumer de­mand sig­nif­i­cantly.

In­di­vid­ual firms may have been pleased, but lead­ers of Peter­bor­ough Cham­ber of Com­merce saw the Bud­get as “a dis­ap­point­ing speech for busi­nesses in the East of Eng­land.

Cham­ber chief ex­ec­u­tive John Bridge said: “The re­duc­tions in cor­po­ra­tion tax and small com­pa­nies tax will be broadly wel­comed.

“But the re­duc­tions in other busi­ness al­lowances from April 2012 are al­ready leav­ing busi­nesses won­der­ing whether they will re­ally be any bet­ter off. Man­u­fac­tur­ers re­main un­con­vinced that their in­dus­try will not be ad­versely af­fected – but the more defin­ing ques­tion has to be, will any busi­ness ac­tu­ally ben­e­fit?

“In par­tic­u­lar, this was a damn­ing speech for in­no­va­tion and new busi­nesses in our re­gion.” Mr Bridge said the Chan­cel­lor had paid lip-ser­vice to the con­tri­bu­tion the pri­vate sec­tor will make to drive growth and se­cure the UK’s eco­nomic re­cov­ery but with the ex­clu­sion of the East, along with London and the South East, from the £5,000 na­tional in­surance ex­emp­tion for each of the first 10 em­ploy­ees of new busi­nesses was a kick in the teeth for the only three re­gions in the UK that makes a net con­tri­bu­tion to the Ex­che­quer.

The Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses (FSB), expressed con­cern that rises in em­ployer NICS were not com­pletely re­versed.

Chris Spies, Peter­bor­ough branch chair­man, said: “We wel­come moves to give a na­tional in­surance hol­i­day to start-up firms, but are concerned that with 70 per cent of firms op­er­at­ing be­low ca­pac­ity, those busi­nesses al­ready trad­ing will not be helped.”

At em­ployer or­gan­i­sa­tion the CBI, re­gional di­rec­tor Richard Tun­ni­cliffe said that “the five-year route map for cor­po­ra­tion tax pro­vides much-needed con­sis­tency and cer­tainty.

He added: “Taken to­gether with pro­pos­als on for­eign prof­its and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, these will help pre­vent and could even re­verse the flow of com­pa­nies over­seas.”

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