The ITV News Business Club Budget

Laura Kuenssberg

Former Business Editor

George Osborne with his Budget case outside 11 Downing Street Credit: Reuters

With less than forty-eight hours to go the Chancellor should be conducting the last minute tweaks of the Budget.

It's hard to avoid the last minute political negotiations, part of which are very deliberately being conducted in public, let alone coordinated grid of stories - stamp duty avoidance and regional pay one minute, potential road pricing the next.

But managing hundreds of thousands of employees and tens of billions of pounds between them, the members of the ITV Business Club have more than an idea or two between them over what George Osborne should do, and what would actually make a difference.

Since we last brought the group together some of them, like Margaret Wood, say they have seen some signs of the economy turning.

Jamal Edwards, the young music entrepreneur and founder of SBTV, says it has been the most successful quarter ever.

Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget on Wednesday Credit: Reuters

But Andy Clarke, the boss of Asda, says his customers are still seeing a drop in real terms in their income, meaning they are still sticking carefully within their budgets. He says it is far too early to call this a proper recovery.

And Keith Anderson, the COO of Scottish Power warns the government must give clarity about the long term to avoid a double dip. His firm has announced a billion pounds worth of infrastructure spending this year, but he is worried about what comes next.

What is fascinating though is despite all the political campaigning that suggests that 50p tax rate should disappear to set business free, our members' views are decidedly mixed.

Entrepreneur Kavita Oberoi says the rate is 'absolutely crazy', and Chris Sullivan, the man who manages more business lending than anyone else in the country agrees that it sends out the wrong message to firms who are trying to grow.

But only a minority of the group believed it is actually damaging to business.

Richard Ward, CEO of Lloyd's of London the insurance market said it's more a political argument than an economic one.

Margaret Wood and Miles Bullough of Aardman Animations would like to see more money put into the average taxpayers' pocket, rather than concentrating on the top.

So if it's not necessarily getting rid of the 50p rate, what could make a difference and get the economy going again?

Watch the ITV Business Club on ITV News at Ten tonight.