Budget 2012: Entrepreneurs reaction

Plumbing entrepreneur, and Business Matters columnist, Charlie Mullins said he felt that George Osborne has recognised the important role entrepreneurs have to play in securing economic recovery for the UK.

Despite a 12-month delay in reducing the rate by 5p until April 2013, Mullins believes that businesses can be successfully established and given the opportunity to grow by incentives including the immediate reduction of Corporation Tax to 24%.

Charlie however expressed his disappointment in the Chancellor’s decision to not reverse the rise in fuel duty set for August this year. His business operates a van fleet of more than 150 vehicles, which currently attracts a fuel bill in the region of £1million a year.

He said: “Cutting the top rate of tax to 45p is a step in the right direction from the Chancellor who has recognised the important role entrepreneurs play in the UK economy. Although we haven’t seen the existing higher rate of tax disappear completely at this stage, I am confident George Osborne will continue to apply common sense to this issue and bring the rate down further in due course.

“The continued reduction in corporation tax is encouraging and does show that Britain is open for business. Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of this economy and the cut in Corporation Tax is a welcome transfusion.”

Charlie added: “In contrast I am disappointed the Chancellor has not used the Budget to get control of spiralling fuel costs. Fuel is not a luxury for many businesses; it is an essential and sometimes the difference between being able to operate and going bust. Like the economy, businesses cannot afford to stand still – without manageable fuel costs many could grind to a halt.”

Jim Venables MD of officebroker.com said: “Expectations that the Government will provide £20 billion to small businesses through ‘backed loans’ could be great news for our clients. We speak with hundreds of SMEs each day and many express the difficulty they have in securing the capital they need to move forward.”

“If Mr Osborne can deliver this, without the empty sabre rattling that seemed to accompany their previous attempts to force banks to begin lending again, it would be a positive move for UK businesses. The devil will of course be in the detail.”

Rajesh Agrawal, Chairman & CEO, Xendpay.com, said of the Budget: “In the current economic climate, the country needs a business and entrepreneur friendly budget. While the cut in corporation tax is welcomed, the tax relief in certain sectors like video games, animation and high end television production seems like a window dressing. There are several other sectors which need equal if not more encouragement.

“Small firms have limited resources and are stretched, simplification of the tax system for them will certainly be helpful.

“We still need to see more from the Chancellor on how he will achieve some of the things he has mentioned like the doubling of exports. How exactly would the Enterprise Loan scheme work?

“The reality is that business is the only engine able to power us out of the current situation.  The question is – is the Chancellor going to pile on some fuel in the shape of real help for small business, or is he content on repainting the passenger carriages and guard’s van as usual?!”

“We also know that poor management is the number one cause of business failure among start-ups.  The proposed enterprise loans for young people are to be welcomed at a time when so many young people are facing unemployment, but unless those loans are linked to help for those young people to develop the skills they need to manage their businesses, the Government will not get good value for money.”

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