Will the Budget be good for business? We hear from those at the sharp end as members of the ITV Business Club tell us what they think the Chancellor should do on Wednesday.
It's the key event in any business calendar. On Wednesday George Osborne will reveal his budget, but with the economy showing little signs of growth he has a tough job ahead of him
We've got together members of our ITV Business Club, top men and women on the shop floor. They want the Chancellor to stimulate growth to help business expand. And they've been teling our Features Editor Reshma Rumsey what they think Mr Osborne needs to do.
We have Kirit Patel, owner of Day Lewis Pharmacies he owns more than 200 chemist shops across the region. He lost everything in the last recession and says he has learned some valuable lessons. He wants to see tax breaks and for the government to get rid of red tape and encourage businesses to expand and take on more staff. He says with youth unemployment at a record high, unless we invest in 16-24 year olds they'll become the lost generation and the economy will suffer.
Lee McQueen - former apprentice winner. He says being Lord Sugar's apprentice was an amazing experience and he has just recently started his own recruitment firm Raw Talent Academy focusing in particular recruiting 16- 24 year olds. He agrees with Kirit and thinks with lower taxes people will be encouraged to spend money they earn rather than money they don't have. He thinks the budget should offer more accessible incentives and have schemes that allow business to use derelict buildings.
– Kirit Patel
I'd like to see that 50% tax taken off because by the time you take 50% tax and 13% national insurance then from your own company you're left with £37 for every £100 you earn.
– Lee McQueen
If we were to lower taxes, take the VAT reduction and put more money in our pockets, it would encourage us to spend the money that we've actually made as opposed to spend the money that we haven't which is on credit and debt.
– Gary Green
There need to be incentives for people to actually say, ok I want to start my own business, or actually I want to grow.
Gary Green is Head of Sales for the UK's largest online recruiting firm, Jobsite. He thinks the budget should include more incentives for businesses and make them easily accessible. And thinks there should be more schemes to encourage companies to take on apprentices.
Hamish Stoddart owns the Peach Pubs group. With a £20m turnover and 15 pubs/restaurants across the region he thinks the budget should focus on credit easing and force the banks to free up cash and lend. He says he's currently negotiating with the banks to lend and he believes that is what small and medium businesses need to grow. He says this industry will be badly hit by the duty escalator tax on beer and thinks it is unsustainable and the last thing to help the economy and business.
Sandra Taylor is a fitness instructor and keeps her overheads low. She hires local halls and offers pay-as-you-go classes. Her business is thriving but she is put off from expanding as National Insurance and red tape mean that it is not worth her while. She wants the chancellor to give people more disposable incomes.
Sir John Madejski is the Chairman of Reading Football Club. He has a more radical perspective, he wants income tax to be scrapped altogether. He believes it is punitive and thinks people should not be punished for working hard and earning money.
Only a fool would try to make money from betting on the budget.. you can bet on the length of speech, the colour of the Chancellor's tie - or whether Ken Clarke dozes off but here's what the smart money is on…
It's 5 to 2 ON that fuel duty will remain unchanged. (2/5)
And five to one on the 50% tax rate will remain and
A dead cert that corportation tax will go down
There are lot of people with an awful lot riding on what Chancellor George Osborne has to say on Wednesday. As he puts the finishing touches to his Budget he'll be well aware that getting it right is one of Britain's biggest ever gambles.