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Budget 2016 - reaction

Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Budget statement on 16 March 2016. 

Here is a round-up of the reaction from industry bodies.

British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

Dr Adam Marshall of BCC was positive with regards to the commitments on infrastructure but wanted further reassurance on the process:

“The chancellor must ensure that they move from the drawing board to speedy construction on the ground. In a softening economy, the combination of sustained infrastructure investment and lower business taxes is important to maintaining the confidence of firms across the country.”

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Huw Evans, director general of ABI welcomed the new Lifetime ISA, suggesting that for most people’s retirement outcomes, employer contributions paid into a workplace pension will be critical.

He said:

"The test for success for the lifetime ISA will be whether it increases overall retirement savings and does not undermine the auto-enrolment programme; this must not be a backdoor to pension ISA.”

Institution of Directors (IoD)

Simon Walker, director general of IoD was pleased with the new measures to help small and medium-sized business. 

“Business leaders and workers alike will be pleased with increases to the income tax personal allowance and the higher rate thresholds next year, while the introduction of a lifetime ISA will be a big boost for young people who have been put off by the inflexibility of pensions.”

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Mike Cherry, policy director at FSB welcomed the freezing of fuel duty saying that it “will be universally welcomed by small business right across the country.”

Mr Cherry was also positive on the government’s backing of devolution powers and infrastructure:

“Altogether, these measures should help to drive productivity and boost small business confidence levels, which have faltered recently in the face of a number of domestic policy and global economic challenges.”