Businesses welcome Chancellor's announcements

Businesses have broadly welcomed the announcements in the Budget aimed at their sector. Measures included cutting energy costs, and doubling investment in a lending scheme aimed at boosting exports.

Tax changes please Asda boss 'but they're not this year'

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: Osborne's Budget 'highly political' and 'short-term'

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady slammed the Chancellor's Budget as "highly political" and "short-term".

File photo of TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady.
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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.”

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Businesses react positively to the Budget

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.

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Business wanted disciplined Budget that was geared towards jobs+wealth creation - that’s what Chancellor delivered http://t.co/HUSlhct5o6

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.

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Welcome focus on manufacturing; increased investment allowance, cuts to energy bills - will create jobs & strengthen this sector #Budget2014

Budget reforms to reduce energy costs for business

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.

Investment allowance boost for businesses

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.

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