What should Chancellor George Osborne do for the region in today’s Budget?
Here leading members of Yorkshire’s Shadow Monetary Policy Committee offer their wishlist.
The Chancellor (with unequivocal full coalition backing) needs to give us stability and clarity. It’s hard for businesses to move forward again in the face of uncertainty. To smooth a clear path the Chancellor should set out a timetable for reducing taxation, in particular VAT, Employer’s National Insurance, stamp and fuel duties – all of which are an added cost, and therefore a drag, on doing things. Perhaps not wholly Budget items, but to kick-start activity and boost recovery in the region give us HS2 and investment in rail infrastructure to the airport and Leeds-Harrogate-York.
Andrew Palmer is the CBI regional director.
Delivering private sector investment in infrastructure, supporting mid-sized businesses, hammering out the details on credit easing, extending the Youth Contract to 16 and 17-year-olds, and introducing the New Build Indemnity Scheme for mortgages at the earliest opportunity will all provide a real boost for UK growth and jobs. With our economy firmly under the international spotlight, there is no time to lose: Plan A plus must become a reality. We also want to maximise the incentive for businesses to invest in Britain. So we’re calling on the Government to make some targeted changes to the UK tax system, which could make an impact on business decisions and create new opportunities for growth.
While the state of the public finances is tight, the Chancellor still has an opportunity in this Budget to make sure the UK tax system is as internationally competitive as it can be.
Judith Donovan CBE is director of DIY Marketing.
This Budget has to show that the Government recognises that it is business that creates jobs and wealth; so I would like to see the scrapping of the 50 per cent tax, a reintroduction of the old enterprise allowance scheme, loans for SMEs that are actually available and a penalty scheme for banks that don’t make those targets.
I would also like recognition of the fact that Yorkshire has not had its fair share of infrastructure investment with tax breaks/incentives for high growth sectors that Yorkshire (as opposed to Cambridge) does well, including old fashioned “proper” manufacturing! And finally I would look at staggering the new business rates regime due in April which could be the final nail in the coffin for small high streets.
Mark Stuart is a political biographer from York.
Bank lending to businesses continues to be a major problem. Many Yorkshire companies, especially manufacturers, need their overdrafts extending to see them through this tough spell. George Osborne should establish a national loan guarantee scheme so that businesses can get the capital they need for investment projects.
The Chancellor needs to target any tax cuts at the poorest, because they spend the bulk of their money. We should also have a bonfire of red tape, especially for small firms.
Nimble Thompson is chairman of N G Bailey and a non-executive director of the Institute of Directors.
The Chancellor needs to be enthusiastic for business throughout his Budget speech. He needs to say loud and clear that the country is nothing without successful businesses of all sizes and he should provide tangible support. I do not think he has much room to do this as he must keep on with the key plank of deficit reduction but some relaxation on fuel duty NIC for employers or anything that points in the right way is needed.
He must give help to those earning just over £100,000 who face a totally unfair tax rate of 62 per cent and encourage pension savings in spite of the apparent media view against this.
I have no special plea for Yorkshire. This should be a national Budget – we are all in this together!
Bill Adams is the TUC regional secretary.
THE TUC believes the UK is experiencing a jobs and growth crisis. The priority must be to tackle those issues.
This means we need a modern industrial strategy, including action on skills, new opportunities through procurement and the building of green industries.
Restoring the Educational Maintenance Allowance and bringing back the Future Jobs Fund would provide opportunities for young people, who are bearing the brunt of the jobs crisis.
Fair tax, including a financial transactions tax, would help to pay for these measures, but a new economic strategy, balancing deficit reduction with investment to support employment and growth, is essential.