- 6 updates
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke told ITV News he was "pleased" taxation changes were revealed in today's Budget, but noted that they would not happen this year.
Mr Clarke said: "Changes in taxation that affect customers and business has a positive effect on the company, we're pleased to see some level of tax change - but it's not in this year. These are taxation changes that are going to happen in the future.
"That's good to see, directionally it's good, but for people who shop in our stores and families around Britain it's what they are going to see from tomorrow."
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady slammed the Chancellor's Budget as "highly political" and "short-term".
Ms O'Grady said, “The best news for the long-term health of the economy is the genuine help for manufacturing, but it was the exception in this highly political short-term Budget that continued the Chancellor’s project to shrink the state and help the rich.”
The business community's reaction to today's Budget was broadly positive, with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the British Chambers of Commerce offering strong endorsements.
The head of the CBI, John Cridland, said: “This was a make or break budget coming at a critical time in the recovery and the Chancellor has focused his firepower on areas that have the potential to lock in growth.”
The Federation of Small Businesses also hailed the Government's business-friendly approach.
HM Treasury has released a graphic to show how the Chancellor's Budget intends to help UK businesses "to invest, export and grow".
The Chancellor announced a package of reforms to "radically reduce" energy costs for businesses, especially manufacturing, pledging savings of up to £7 billion by 2018/19 for industry as well as households.
George Osborne said the move will particularly benefit the most energy intensive manufacturers, around 80% of which are based in the North of England, Scotland and Wales.
Measures will include capping the carbon price floor (CPF), which sets rising amounts for the carbon tax paid by electricity generators.
The Annual Investment Allowance for businesses has been doubled to £500,000, George Osborne has announced.
Mark Evans, Tax Partner at independent chartered accountants Baker Tilly, says: "This is great news for businesses and means any spending up to that amount on capital plant or machinery can receive tax relief of 100%.
"Obviously George Osborne has been persuaded to change his mind as it was pre-announced that this allowance would fall from £250,000 to £25,000."
The Chancellor now says 99.8% of businesses will get the benefit of this measure.