Business Jury is out after Budget says Forum of Private Business
Leading business support organisation, the Forum of Private Business, welcomed renewed focus on the needs of business by the new Chancellor, as he delivered his first Budget, but cautioned that the Chancellor’s words will need to translate into meaningful deliverables for our small business members.
Managing Director of the Forum, Ian Cass commented, ‘Several of the announcements from Chancellor are in line with the wish list that we set out. In particular the commitment to accelerate investment on rural broadband connectivity, the investment in infrastructure, long term in the railways and in the shorter term our roads and also addressing the imbalance in the North/South economies is well overdue, like moving treasury jobs out of London and is something we have been asking for.’
The potential impact of the Covid19 virus on smaller businesses is a further area that the Forum has real concerns about, and the relief on Business Rates as well as the £3,000 cash grant will go some way to helping says Ian Cass, particularly as this also looks to be extended to the pub sector, but more reforms are needed once the current crisis is over.
‘Business Rates are a hugely disproportionate burden on small high street businesses and need to be completely reformed. The immediate relief is of course welcomed and appropriate, but we hope that the Chancellor won’t simply kick the issue back into the long grass once the Covid19 crisis is through,’
Not directly addressing the late payment practices of big business is a disappointment, with a specific concern from the Forum that this will become a bigger issue still in the coming weeks and months.
Overall Ian Cass scores the Budget 8/10 as far as business is concerned, with the hope that the Chancellors full year report will score higher based on actual deliverables.