Only 50% of the UK’s financial directors believe the pre-Budget report serves any useful purpose, with over a third saying it serves no purpose at all.
The Accountancy Age/Reed Marketing survey found 38% of FDs do not support the idea of the chancellor’s ‘green’ budget, with many believing it to be a waste of time.
Those who do support the pre-Budget report argued it was a useful guide to the government’s thinking and direction. As one FD said: ‘It alerts people to the chancellor’s intentions.’
Many FDs thought this year’s report would be more relevant than in the past as it provided an opportunity to avert a further fuel crisis.
‘It is crucial to the haulage business to find out what they are planning to do with fuel,’ said another FD.
The poll was carried out in the run up to Gordon Brown’s pre-budget report yesterday (Wednesday), at a time when speculation on its contents was rife. Some FDs complained much of the contents had been leaked, though others acknowledged the report helped to stop speculation in the run up to the March budget. However, it was recognised that the actual Budget could be very different to the report.
Ian Hunter, FD at GI Lamps Ltd, said: ‘It’s a waste of time. It leads you to be optimistic and then they let you down.’
Speaking at the CBI conference earlier this week, Gordon Brown said that Wednesday’s pre-budget report would be the occasion to address in detail the issues of fuel pensions and public services.
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