FDs say Budget won’t help UK plc

Less than a fifth of FDs thought last week’s Budget would benefit businesses in the UK.

Of the 410 FDs that responded to this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question, which asked whether the Budget was right for UK businesses, only 19% thought it would be of any help.

Some 39% thought it was not right for business, while 42% thought it was business neutral. Even those in favour of Brown’s proposals offered only faint praise. ‘There wasn’t much there, but it’s well-balanced,’ said one FD.

Others were more scathing. ‘I think the chancellor’s Budget assumptions are flawed and in April 2004 we will get a nasty shock with the next one,’ said one less-than-happy FD.

A common theme was the concern over the deepening recession in the manufacturing sector. ‘Again, Brown has missed an opportunity to help the sector,’ said Chris Hallett, FD at Ocean Technical Systems. ‘National statistics mask its sorry state. The government must take positive action to assist it.’

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