This year’s Budget arrives one day after the Ides of March, a date synonymous with the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. While it is likely that George Osborne will ‘hail’ the contribution of British industry, there are those who feel that the Chancellor is preparing to stick a knife the back of business in the form of additional tax and legislation.
With the economy £18bn smaller than the Office for Budget Responsibility expected following growth of 2.8% rather than the 3.8% forecast for 2015, Osborne indicated yesterday that the UK must “act now to make sure we don't pay later”.
While cuts amounting to 50p in every £100 of spending by the end of the decade may help the Chancellor to meet his target of running a budget surplus by 2020, it is expected that Osborne will look to business to raise some the funds needed.
However, some commentators feel that with the European referendum looming the pro-EU Chancellor and his Prime Minister are fighting for their political lives. To win the referendum Osborne must build up business confidence to project the message that the UK has ‘something to lose’ by leaving the EU. Introducing measures that may stifle business and entrepreneurship might be seen as counterproductive to this.
Ahead of George Osborne’s appearance at the dispatch box, AccountingWEB takes a look at what UK businesses would like – and what they’re likely to get – on Wednesday.
* * *