Budget 2013 local reaction

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Local businesses have been commenting on today’s Budget statement from the Chancellor the Exchequer, George Osborne.

Richard Ayre, chairman of the Institute of Directors South West and MD of Falmouth-based educational publisher Clickety Books, welcomed the measures announced.

“We applaud the Budget,” he said. “As a national policy, deficit reduction is a necessity, George Osborne has stuck to his guns and it’s just what we wanted to see.

“Businesses will be glad that the downward pressure on Corporation Tax will continue. Britain must become the most competitive place to do business, and this will undoubtedly help; lower taxes will attract welcome investment from abroad.”

Andrew Berry, MD at Kernow Property Sevices, was pleased by the Chancellor’s announcement about the Help to Buy Scheme.

“The Help to Buy Scheme…is good news for home owners and people looking to get on the property ladder,” he said.

“For a long time we have seen people struggle to secure mortgages and therefore there has been limited movement in the property market. During the past three years we have seen things improve steadily and I believe that the new scheme will help the market recover and gain stability.

“The two strands of the Help to Buy Scheme show that there is going to be help for all homeowners, not just first time buyers. This is vital as it’s not just first time buyers who have struggled to secure mortgages to buy, it’s for anyone who does not have substantial funds available for a deposit.”

“This is brilliant news, and it will make George Osborne the toast of Britain’s pubs, today”

The cut in beer tax was greeted with enthusiasm by the local pub industry. Louise Treseder, who runs the Driftwood Spars public house in St Agnes said: “From a publican and micro-brewery point of view this budget looks fairly positive.

“I think I speak for all publicans when I say the scrapping of the beer duty escalator along with the reduction in beer duty by 1p is good news for our industry and good news for the consumer.

“As a business we notice that even slight increases in price can deter many customers from popping to their local for a quick pint.

“It doesn’t just have an effect on the pub itself, but also the community as a whole.”

James Staughton, MD of St Austell Brewery, added: “This is brilliant news, and it will make George Osborne the toast of Britain’s pubs, today. By deciding to freeze the tax on beer through the removal of the beer duty escalator – and then going even further by lowering duty by 1p a pint – he has moved to boost jobs in pubs, and in a way that will not hit the Treasury’s bottom line.

However, The Forum of Private Business said most firms will be “hugely disappointed” after the Chancellor gave no concessions on business rates.

Spokesman Robert Downes said: “Ask any small businesses what they wanted to see from this Budget and many will have said: ‘action on business rates’. We said before the Budget Government couldn’t keep clobbering businesses with hike after hike, and unfortunately we haven’t seen that sentiment acknowledged today by Mr Osborne.”