CBI IMMEDIATE REACTION TO 2015 BUDGET
March 18 2015.


The CBI today responded to the final Budget speech of this Parliament, by Chancellor George Osborne. A full reaction will follow later.


John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “Stability and consistency are what businesses need to grow and prosper. This Budget sets the tone, providing a clear plan for fiscal health and growth.

“This Budget has some encouraging measures to help businesses create jobs for the benefit of all.

“The brighter fiscal picture has allowed the Chancellor to recalibrate his deficit reduction plans. In the next Parliament this fiscal breathing space should be used to achieve intelligent reductions in public spending, together with much-needed infrastructure and innovation.

"With business investment a crucial driver of growth, the Chancellor has signalled his intention to continue the Annual Investment Allowance. We want it to be made permanent in the Autumn Statement at £250,000 - this will fire the UK's economic kiln by spurring smaller firms to invest in plant and machinery.

“The reduction of the headline rate of Corporation Tax to 20% next month, is a meaningful step in making the UK the most competitive tax regime in the G20 and will help to attract investment.

“The oil and gas industry, which supports 450,000 UK jobs and is a major contributor to GDP, has been given a much-needed boost with the reduction to the supplementary charge and other incentives. This will help address concerns over job losses and investment freezes, but pressures remain due to low oil prices.

“Giving savers greater freedom over their pensions, including creating a secondary annuities market, boosts choice but after a period of flux what's needed now is breathing space for the industry and consumers to get to grips with all the changes.”