Chief executive of Cambridgeshire’s Chambers of Commerce reacts to Budget

PUBLISHED: 14:43 20 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:43 20 March 2014

John Bridge

John Bridge

Archant

The chief executive of Cambridgeshire’s Chambers of Commerce has given his backing to George Osborne’s Budget.

But John Bridge OBE believes more needs to be done to get the county’s economy firing on all cylinders.

He said: “The speech has seen the government taking positive steps in the right direction, but much remains to be done particularly in relation to the big ticket items.

“Our roads and infrastructure have been lacking in investment for many years and, consequently, there is a backlog of deficiencies that need to be tackled.

“A key business priority as always is infrastructure delivery, which means schemes actually being actioned and not just announced.

“Although it was seen by many as a low-key budget, fundamental elements of today’s speech are really what businesses wanted and indeed had expected to hear from the Chancellor.”

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) for capital expenditure will double from £250,000 to £500,000 to the end of 2015.

Tax on residential homes owned through a company will be extended from residential properties worth more than £2m to those worth more than £500,000.

The amount of income people receive tax-free will rise to £10,500 from April 2015, the Carbon Price Floor and other green energy levies will be capped to reduce energy bills, export finance will double to £3 billion and the rate of R&D tax credit payable to loss making small and medium sized enterprises will increase from 11 per cent to 14.5 per cent from April.

Cash and stocks and shares ISAs will be merged with a new upper limit of £15,000.

Changes to pensions include the removal of all tax restrictions on pensioners’ access to their pension and the introduction of a new pensioner bond.

Fenland accountants Moore Thompson, which has a Wisbech office, have carried out on analysis of the Budget.

Mark Hildred, managing partner, said: “This has certainly been a budget for businesses, savers and pensioners.

“The most surprising announcement was the raising of the Annual Investment Allowance which will provide up to 100 per cent tax relief for businesses on capital expenditure up to £500,000.

“This measure, along with the capping of green energy levies, should help businesses looking to grow.

“Individuals will also be pleased with measures to increase the personal tax allowances and major changes to pensions and savings.”

For more information and for a detailed budget summary, visit www.moorethompson.co.uk

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