CBI: "“We know small and medium-sized manufacturers are cutting jobs for the first time during this crisis. While firms have to do what is right for their businesses in these challenging times, these imaginative proposals would help some small businesses keep people in work.”
British Chambers of Commerce: "With unemployment continuing to rise sharply, companies are not in a position to think about recruiting new staff right now. Businesses are shedding staff. Cashflow is of primary concern to businesses at the moment. This policy announcement would have been a valid welfare to work initiative in better times, but it is not a survival tool for small businesses during a severe downturn.”
The Federation of Small Businesses warns – according to Paul Waugh – "that the plan could act as "disincentive" to firms hiring those unemployed for less than three months." [This – and the scheme’s complexity – is among the most important objections].
Janet Daley: "What this proposal will sound like to most voters is a tax break for business. However sound it may be as an incentive to companies to take on employees (assuming that they have the wherewithal to do so), it does not speak to the ordinary hard-working, over-taxed family which all parties are seeking to placate."]
Fraser Nelson: "It’s a welcome move in the right direction: cut taxes on companies, and you will get more jobs. But 350,000 of them during a deep recession? Dream on."
Daniel Finkelstein: "A brilliant stroke of genius from George Osborne."*
* Okay, we made that one up.