The Big Question – Budget bad news for 66% of FDs.

The majority of financial directors think Chancellor Gordon Brown did nothing for business in his budget last week, according to a poll by Accountancy Age and Reed Accounting Personnel.

A massive 64% of FDs told The Big Question the chancellor’s NICs and tax increases will not help businesses. Of the 208 FDs surveyed only 36% thought last week’s Budget was good for business.

‘The only way I am going to pay for the increase in NI is by capping recruitment or, in the extreme, reduce headcount. I thought this was a Budget for jobs,’ said Rakesh Gulati, FD of vehicle rental company Churchfields.

‘Something should have been done to control the exchange rate because it will hurt the UK economy as a whole,’ said Francesca Harmes, financial controller at Arco Chemical Europe.

‘Increases in stamp duty were unwelcome. I’m also unhappy the payment on account regime still requires us to make forecasts of taxable profit,’ said Chris Denby, assistant general manager, British Arab Commercial Bank.

FDs of small businesses were some of the few who said they were happy with the Budget. ‘Brown has made a positive stand to promoting public transport’ said Jacqui Martin, FD of Provincial Bus Company.

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