FDs back chancellor

Despite fierce opposition from business bodies like the CBI, UK finance directors have given qualified backing to the chancellor’s Budget.

The CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce have both said that the 1% rise in employers national insurance contributions threatens the competitiveness of British business.

But according to the results of this week’s Accountancy Age/ Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question, those fears are not shared by the majority of FDs.

Some 43% of the 363 FDs responding to this week’s poll said they were confident the Budget’s balance of tax measures and investment in public services was right for the UK. One FD, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘The Labour party is making a genuine effort to increase the quality of service from the NHS.’

Just 35% refused to endorse the package, though they were more vocal in their criticism.

Sodexho Prestige FD Simon Jessord warned the extra 1% on employers national insurance would ‘kill’ jobs.

Frank McCarthy, FD of O’ Halloran & O’ Brian, said: ‘He is taking an extra 2% of the entire earning of the nation and throwing it down a bottomless pit.’

Sauter Automation FD John Buckley added: ‘Gordon Brown is wasting his time and our money.’

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