Budget is broadly welcomed by Dales businesses

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Businesses in the Dales have broadly welcomed last weeks budget announcement, but still believe more could have been done to help.

Key aspects of the budget – which was announced on Wednesday, March 21 – include a 1p cut on beer duty, cigarette duty to rise by two per cent above inflation, income tax eliminated for all earnings under £10,00 by 2014, corporation tax to be cut by 20 per cent in 2015 and a new employment allowance to cut National Insurance bills for every firm by £2,000 to help small businesses.

Martin Waters, managing director of haulage firm B J Waters, said he was “relieved” that the planned fuel duty rise had been scrapped.

He said: “You cannot underestimate the benefit this will bring to all businesses who are reliant on fuel. But a reduction would have been much better.”

David Mountford, owner of The Boat Inn, Cromford, and active member of the GMB trade union, said it was a “welcome move” to have the beer duty escalator scrapped.

“But the problems within the industry will not be solved with this move. There are much deeper problems which also need to be looked at,” he said.

George Cowcher, chief executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “A number of measures announced in the Budget were business-friendly and welcome. However, there were many other issues which weren’t addressed and should have been. The Chancellor had a golden opportunity to ease the financial burden placed on many firms by scrapping damaging increases in business rates, but that didn’t happen. Also, the UK needs investment right now – not in 2015-16 as proposed.”