By Claire West

In the main the 2011 budget was a pro-business budget with a nod to the entrepreneurs who are tasked with driving the economy forward.

We asked ACCA’s head of tax, Chas Roy-Chowdhury for his initial thoughts;

“It’s good that we’re looking at a simplification of some taxes and the whole taxation paper chase. But there will be a lot of complexity introduced as well as the simplifications from future changes and aspects of the NI and income tax merger. The fuel stabiliser, for example, is highly complex but will still be a real help to businesses. The corporation tax changes and the introduction of enterprise zones are welcome too.”

Mark Bolsom, Head of UK Trading at Travelex Global Business Payments is unsure whether GDP will pick up as much as the Chancellor hopes but applauds the budget overall:
“This was a fiscally neutral budget. There were a few highlights for businesses — namely the 2% fall in corporation tax — but the message is that businesses and consumers are going to continue getting squeezed – there has never been a Plan B to the Chancellor’s fiscal policies.
British importers and exporters have heard all about the Chancellor’s bold growth strategy and today needed to see him turn this rhetoric into firm tactics. The reduction in corporation tax will play a key part in spurring growth and businesses will be delighted as many of them thought the budget would have a negative impact on their business.”

Seasoned entrepreneur and the CEO of Moonfruit.com Joe White whose company has been responsible for over 3 million websites gives an entrepreneur’s perspective.

“Before the budget I was looking for some sensible policy to support small businesses, hopefully with some kind of employment tax incentives for hiring, and policy to drive new business creation.

This is a hopeful budget that keeps in the spirit of the non-banking private sector saving us from our public finances. It’s a gamble to assume that the private sector will rise to take the weight and continue driving growth, but time will tell if it was the right step to take.
It’s good to hear there will be an enterprise zone in London, as it’s often neglected as a focus for new business creation. It’s good to encourage other regions, but support your champions too!
Simplification has played a big part in this budget, making it easier, especially for Moonfruit’s customers, 90% of which are small businesses building and hosting their websites with us, to reduce costs and raise income by simplifying the tax code and increasing personal allowances. “

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