Small businesses will be 'disappointed' by measures announced in Budget, expert warns

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt delivered his budget on Wednesday. Credit: PA Images

Small businesses will be 'disappointed' measures announced in the latest Budget don't provide the immediate support they so badly need, an expert has warned.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled a "back to work" budget, which he claims will stimulate economic growth.

The government's headline announcements included a major expansion of free childcare, keeping the energy price cap, and pensions and benefits overhauls.

But the Federation of Small Businesses' Scotland Policy Chair, Andrew McRae, says this doesn't go far enough.

He said: "[The] budget doesn’t offer much practical help to smaller firms worrying about their costs and cashflow. Many will be disappointed at a lack of headline measures to provide the immediate support they so badly need.

"There was nothing, for example, on business energy prices once the current support scheme stops at the end of the month. We needed something better than the simultaneous, insignificant and expensive current replacement plan.

"Neither did we hear anything about cashflow and tackling late payment - a move that would get money, money that’s already been earned, moving round the economy and working."

There were, however, commitments made to the UK's nuclear sector, including the launch of Great British Nuclear (GBN).

Jo Lappin, Chief Executive at the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: "It’s particularly promising to see that Small Modular Reactors - which could be delivered at several strategic locations in Cumbria - will be progressed.

"Creating an overarching, national body to support further development and collaboration across the nuclear industry was something we recommended in our Local Industrial Strategy, almost five years ago.

"It’s therefore good to see this now coming to fruition, with GBN set to take forward the advancement of the sector.

"We’ll be doing everything we can to make sure that Cumbria’s current activities and future nuclear potential is fully realised from the get go by the new organisation."

"The LEP therefore welcomes the firm commitment to nuclear investment and the significant budget pledge to other decarbonisation projects like Carbon Capture in the North West.

"This provides a strong platform to make real progress in further enhancing Cumbria’s already exceptional clean energy generation contribution and in creating 'green' employment opportunities, now and in the future."

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