Budget 2013: Chamber of Commerce welcomes 'jobs tax' rebate and scrapping of fuel duty increase
HOW does the Budget affect you?
Chancellor George Osborne said it is "for people who work hard and aspire to get on", and predicted that the economy would avoid slipping back into recession this year.
A variety of forthcoming tax and benefit changes were announced in last year's Autumn Statement.
But the chancellor added some new measures yesterday.
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It contained a "few small measures which are quite useful to business", according to Dr Ian Kelly, the chief executive of the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce.
Dr Kelly told the Grimsby Telegraph that although the Chancellor had very little room for manoeuvre, his announcement contained some measures to be pleased about.
He said giving small businesses a £2,000 rebate on National Insurance contributions was likely to be the most popular announcement and described it as a "well-targeted measure" for encouraging companies to taken on new staff.
He welcomed the decision to scrap September's planned fuel duty increase, saying the high cost of fuel had been a problem well noted in the Grimsby economy.
He said that the reduction of corporation tax to 20 per cent by 2015 would be "a good thing when it comes", and welcomed the announcement that Government departmental spending would be cut to fund further investment in infrastructure.
The Chancellor also announced a greater role for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in controlling budgets locally to support business, as recommended by Lord Heseltine in his report No Stone Unturned In Pursuit Of Growth.
Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber LEP, said: "Lord Heseltine proposed a major shift in powers and funding to local leaders, and I am delighted that the Government has accepted every one of the key recommendations.
"The Humber LEP will be at the forefront of implementing these changes, with support from Lord Heseltine, and we are well placed to do so because of the work we have done so far. This has included publishing one of the first LEP strategic plans and developing the City Deal proposal."
Ursula Lidbetter, chairman of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: "The formal announcement in the Chancellor's Budget means more powers will be handed to LEPs to control budgets and make choices on a local level – this will go a long way to allowing local businesses to determine the future of the economy in our area.
"Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire can only benefit from a LEP which has the power and responsibility to develop its own tailored economic plans and compete for a share in a single national pot to support growth.
"We are now expecting to be allocated up to £250,000 of new public funding in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 specifically to devise those growth plans."
After the Chancellor had delivered his Budget, Great Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell said: “Two thirds of the country are so impoverished they need public housing to rent.
"Why not have a massive housing programme over two to three years? We’re already building 100,000 houses less than the growing need of this community – the ones who can’t afford to buy - that particularly needs housing on whom the pains of the housing crisis and the shortage that’s now going on fall.
"Borrow and spend, stimulate and grow, that’s the only way out and that’s why the Budget is such a failure, the Chancellor proposed none of this.”
The annual budget – just how much does it impact upon the average person in this country today?
It would seem that this time around there are signs that the present Government has actually listened and tried to put into place measures that will help just a little.
But more importantly it is hoped that the budget will instill a bit of confidence to an economy and a business world that is still extremely nervous.
There comes a time when any Government has to step back, re-evaluate its actions and look at what it needs to do to turn a tide.
And that tide was certainly not for turning by itself – as has been evident in recent months.
It appeared that the Government itself was slightly too hopeful in that respect – and now it needs to act to get our economy going and our people confident enough to start spending again as money makes the world go around.
*What do you think of the budget and has it impacted on you?
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