Members of the UK baking industry have revealed their thoughts to British Baker on yesterday’s Budget, announced by Chancellor George Osborne.
In the spring Budget, revealed yesterday (20 March), the Chancellor highlighted a number of action points that would benefit small businesses in the years ahead.
Here is what the industry thought:
Alan Clarke, chief executive of Scottish Bakers
“The Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has spent the afternoon of the Budget contradicting the Chancellor’s claims that people in Scotland will be £176m better off during the next two years. However, the Budget has provided some good news for bakers in Scotland. The £2,000 national insurance rebate will especially assist small bakers, the commitment to speed up the introduction of the Business Bank is welcome, as accessing money for business investment and growth is difficult, the withdrawal of the expected increase in fuel duty is welcome. Though it is disappointing that more isn’t being done to assist high street businesses and the demise of the high street looks set to continue.”
Tim Hall of Halls Bakery in Chorley, Lancashire
“I think it was a reasonable Budget, with the reduction in corporation tax being a positive move, and tax-free child care will be a help to working families. Also, the 0% interest rate for first-time buyers will push forward the housing market, so not all doom and gloom. Maybe a cut in the benefits culture should now be looked at more closely to try and push the country forward again.”
Mike Holling, chairman of the National Association of Master Bakers
“He didn’t have much to give away in the first place and while there are some small benefits for smaller businesses in the budget he has still not done anything to address rates or, indeed, the rate of VAT. At this stage at least there are no nasty surprises like the pasty tax from last year, although the Budget will have to be pored over in more detail yet.”