Giving his reaction to the Budget 2014, John Longworth Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:
“Business wanted a Budget that was disciplined, focused, and geared towards the creation of wealth and jobs – and that’s what the Chancellor has delivered.
“With a huge confidence gap still separating employers from young job-seekers, we are very pleased to see the Chancellor heed our call to help firms take on and train tomorrow’s workforce. Overcoming that confidence gap means more investment in young people, more apprenticeships, and more jobs, which are critical with more than 900,000 16-to-24-year-olds still out of work.
“Osborne’s focus on investment, exports, house-building and economic resilience passes the business test. By making a better business environment his top priority, the Chancellor has recognised that successful and confident companies are the key to transforming Britain’s growing economic recovery into one that is felt in homes and on high streets.
“As with any Budget, there were some populist measures that were not at the top of business’s wish list. Luckily, these were far outweighed by considered measures to support business growth and wealth creation.
“Many of these measures are excellent for now, and for the future. Yet the nurturing of a truly great economy requires more action than one Budget can deliver. At the upcoming General Election, Britain’s entire political class must commit to a long-term programme that delivers better infrastructure, a stronger skills base, access to finance for growing companies, even more export support and a clear, consistent tax environment. Otherwise some of the Chancellor’s welcome moves might not have the desired effect in years to come.”
“The unexpected and radical modernisation of pension rules and ISAs will be welcome news for many businesspeople and their employees. Greater flexibility and choice, combined with an end to some of the arbitrary and punitive tax rules that undercut prudent savers, favour aspiration, enterprise and long-term planning.”