The Big Question – FDs spurn ‘business’ Budget

Gordon Brown might have claimed that his Budget was good for business, but fewer than one in four finance directors think that their businesses will benefit.

The findings, in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question survey, follow a Budget aimed firmly at the small business community. Corporate-friendly measures included the new 10% starting rate for corporation tax, as well as tax credits for research and development.

Of the 256 FDs questioned, only 21% said the Budget was good for their organisation. Only 28% believed the chancellor’s policies heralded good news for the companies, while the remainder said they were neutral.

One of the main concerns was the introduction of an energy tax. Aylesford Newsprint FD Ian Broxup said: ‘Energy tax will be a major problem for energy-intensive users like ourselves.’

Another concern was the increase in fuel prices. ‘The only effect I can see is extra fuel costs for transport and distribution, which is by no means a positive effect,’ said Andrew Hale of the Fireplace Company.

Among the small band of FDs satisfied with the Budget, Yinka Bronlow, of Accord Housing, said: ‘We have benefited by the scrapping of the mobile phone tax.’

More Budget news & analysis, pages 2, 8 & 13.

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