CBI: Budget must support business growth

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This year's Budget is about to be announced, with the CBI keen to see support for firms

CBI director-general John Cridland has called upon the chancellor to deliver strong support for medium-sized businesses in this year's Budget, which is to be announced tomorrow (March 18th).

"First and foremost what we need is a responsible budget - let's make sure we don't put politics ahead of economic growth and investment," he argued. "Let's look to build on our hard-earned sound economic footing by creating a stable investment environment for ambitious firms looking to expand."

To facilitate this, Mr Cridland suggested the chancellor should boost the availability of long-term growth capital for companies of all sizes, as well as committing to a reduction of the supplementary charge on North Sea oil producers back to 20 per cent, as this will help in the creation of more jobs.

Furthermore, extending the provision of free childcare to children aged one and two across the country would help to ensure staff could return to work more swiftly after having a baby, while "supercharging" the R&D tax credit to incentivise the domestic development, commercialisation and delivery of the best ideas by UK firms should be a priority.

Mr Cridland also revealed the CBI's belief that removing the UK's smallest firms entirely from being subject to business rates would present a significant coup for this group, serving to bolster the prospects of thousands of businesses and increase the likelihood of a sustained economic recovery across the board.

Finally, he argued the threshold for companies to become subject to transfer pricing rules in the UK should be raised from 250 to 500 members of staff.

"Our economy is in good shape, but there's still no room for complacency, so spending wisely on measures that will help to keep growth heading in the right direction ... has got to be the priority," the CBI chief concluded.