2023 Spring Budget - the business reaction
15 Mar 2023
Business groups have reacted to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Spring Budget speech.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) branded the Budget as a 'strong second act' in Mr Hunt's plan for stability and growth. Matthew Fell, Interim Director General of the CBI, said: 'The CBI called for action on people and productivity and the government has delivered support for both. Measures to help households and businesses will secure the growth we need to boost living standards for all.
'Boosting childcare provision is a big win for businesses struggling to recruit and retain, and parents balancing care and career needs.'
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) praised the Chancellor for his changes to free childcare for working parents.
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, commented: 'The Chancellor has acted to address the unfilled jobs blighting our economy. It is especially good to see the help on childcare and for over 50s workers. The plans for full capital expensing are also a step in a right direction to offset the rise in corporation tax, but the jury is out on how it will impact businesses compared to the super-deduction scheme.'
However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) stated that the Budget 'will leave many feeling short-changed'. Martin McTague, National Chair of the FSB, said: 'The distinct lack of new support in core areas proves that small firms are overlooked and undervalued. Budgets are about tough choices, and with . . . billions being allocated to big businesses and households, 5.5 million small businesses and the 16 million people who work for them will be wondering why the choice has been made to overlook them.'
Meanwhile, the Institute of Directors (IoD) said that it 'strongly supports' the Chancellor's decision to allow all investment expenditure to be set against revenue for tax purposes in the year it is spent. Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the IoD, said: 'Our economy has been held back in recent years because people running businesses have felt nervous of committing to investment when the climate is so uncertain. The introduction of 100% full expensing for the next three years is therefore very welcome, and we urge it to be continued thereafter.'