Millions of words have already been written on the subject of the 2010 Budget. What we know in business is that we have been in the deepest recession in sixty years; one which has left a large number of skilled people unemployed, many companies out of business and an economy that is barely growing.
There was probably more hope than expectation in the run up to yesterday’s Budget statement. Remember, on the back of a grim recent economic period, we are about to enter into a General Election. If we’re honest we knew there would be little in the form of stimulus or giveaway with a huge blackhole in our national accounts to somehow fill.
That said, there were reasons to be cheerful. The cut in business rates will have a positive effect on scores of businesses and may even allow a significant number to continue trading and keep people in employment. Entrepreneurs have been incentivised to continue investing in UK PLC with a doubling of their capital gains tax relief. A new body will look to reduce the administrative burden associated with setting up and running a business. And there are a number of new investment initiatives, not least in manufacturing, which will provide some stimulus too.
It was a budget perhaps designed to appease business, and yes secure some additional Labour votes. It was inevitably thin on the deficit, and thin on the details on cuts required. From a business perspective it could have been worse, and better.
But, I think the best thing we can do is look ahead positively, focus on what we do well and do more of it, target our activity to our best and most profitable customers, and wait and see how takes on the reins of Government in May.