This week’s Big Question tackled the question of whether or not the pre-Budget statement serves any useful purpose.
The instinct of many people when asked this question would be to respond that any communication from government about its aims is good – and the pre-Budget statement should be regarded in this light. Half of finance directors appear to agree – although 38% do not.
But what was particularly interesting about the responses was the widespread cynicism about what was unveiled in the pre-Budget statement will actually lead to anything in the ‘real’ Budget next year.
A typical comment from the more cynical breed of FD was: ‘It’s a waste of time. It’s speculation and doesn’t bear any resemblance to the actual Budget.’
Another said: ‘If you start trying to act on something that may happen, then you may come unstuck.’
Some FDs went further, suggesting the whole exercise was an opinion-gauging exercise by the government to test waters.
We live in times of unprecedented amounts of new legislation. Many businesses are struggling to digest and deal with a constant deluge of new rules and regulations by a very active government. The more communication, therefore, the better.
But vagueness leads to uncertainty and irritation.
So for business, when it comes to communications from the government, the real issues are clarity and certainty – whatever the method of delivery.
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