Budget 2011 – Reaction, who said what?

Posted on March 23rd, 2011 | Categories - Financial News

We thought we would take a look at the reaction to today’s budget, from politicians to business leaders, trade unions to economic experts, who said what?

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, “Last year’s emergency Budget was about rescuing the nation’s finances, and paying for the mistakes of the past. Today’s Budget is about reforming the nation’s economy, so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future. And it’s about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price.”
 

Ed Milliband, Labour leader, “One fact says it all and he couldn’t bring himself to say it: Growth down last year, this year and next year. It’s the same old Tories – it’s hurting but it isn’t working.”

Nick Robinson, BBC political editor, “The vision the chancellor outlined is a simpler, fairer tax system and private sector job creation in the regions, instead of what he dubbed a ‘debt-fuelled economy.’”
Robert Peston, BBC business editor, “The chancellor will perhaps be seen as having chosen, still years from a general election, a principled Budget rather than a crowd-pleasing one.”
Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, “Today’s measures do nothing to end the basic error of imposing deep, rapid and unfair spending cuts on an economy where unemployment is rising and growth faltering.”
John Cridland, CBI director-general, “The chancellor has made clear the UK is open for business.”
Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, “We are disappointed that the chancellor missed an opportunity to send a clear message that cuts to the NHS must stop. With the NHS in England having to find £20bn of savings because of the current financial climate, it is important that government rhetoric is matched with real protection for NHS patients.”
Miles Templeman, Institute of Directors boss, “We welcome the raft of supply-side measures announced in the Budget. The combination of reduced corporation tax and planning liberalisation will help to lift business confidence at a difficult time. However, the scale of deregulation in areas that really matter to business in general, such as employment law, is still very limited. And while the 21 new enterprise zones have real potential, we question why the whole of the UK can’t be an enterprise zone.”
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, “No one should be fooled by this budget, it’s a mirage from the architect of the most devastating cuts to jobs and services in generations. What is on offer is tax cuts and deregulation for corporations, whilst attacking workers’ rights in small companies. This budget has not actually created any jobs. The tax avoidance measures to claw back £1bn of taxes is a drop in the ocean compared with the £30bn of taxes lost through avoidance every year. If you are struggling to make ends meet, there is very little in this budget to help you.”
David Frost, Director General of British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), “There are some real pro-enterprise moves in this Budget that businesses will commend. Reducing corporation tax rates by 2pc this year is a measure of real substance. We also welcome the Government’s desire to speed up tax simplification, and to remove the much-disliked 50p top rate of income tax. Smaller companies in every corner of the UK will take heart from the Chancellor’s moves to cut fuel duty, maintain business rate reliefs for an additional year, and to exempt businesses with fewer than ten employees from new regulations.”
Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, “He made a crucial down payment on creating a stronger and more balanced economy with measures to boost investment in technology, research and development, and skills. The Growth Review has now started to deliver tangible process in removing the barriers to growth, investment and job creation in the UK. However, for manufacturers, despite the encouraging measures on investment, the significant rise in energy bills threatened by the Carbon Price Floor is unwelcome. The next stage of the Growth Review must seek to develop a more co-ordinated and cost effective approach to creating a low carbon economy.”
Chris Sanger, global head of tax policy at Ernst & Young “The Chancellor has once again chosen to raid the banks to pay for the cuts in corporation tax, repeating the approach he took at the Emergency Budget. By increasing the burden faced most by banks headquartered in the UK, the Chancellor continues to increase the incentives for banks to migrate.”