Our view of the today's Pre-Budget is fairly negative. We had called for the Chancellor to provide continued stability in the business environment for manufacturers grappling with ongoing economic uncertainties.
In practice that meant no tinkering with the tax system and keeping in place some of the temporary support to help businesses invest for future growth.
Today’s statement provided some continuity for manufacturers by freezing the small companies’ rate of corporation tax; extending the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and Time to Pay schemes and steering clear of damaging tax changes as the economy pulls out of recovery.
Overall, the measures provide some marginal benefits for business in the short-term, but companies will also be picking up the bill in a few years. Importantly, big questions around the public finances have yet to be fully answered.