Adam Smith InstituteAdam Smith Institute

Madson Pirie, President:

“Nigel Lawson’s budgets were models of clear-sighted vision. In every budget he cut taxes, simplified them, and abolished at least one altogether. A George Osborne budget seems more like one of Gordon Brown’s, a patchwork quilt of little measures with no clear pattern to it.”

Sam Bowman, Executive Director:

“Mr Osborne’s deficit reduction plans for this Parliament always seemed improbable but lowered growth forecasts make this plain to see. At the current rate of cuts, he will now need to find £31bn of cuts or tax rises in the year 2019 alone to deliver his surplus. This is highly unlikely and it seems almost certain that he will end up breaking all three of his own fiscal rules. In all likelihood he does not expect to be in the job by then and doesn’t mind handing the problem to someone else.”

Confederation of British Industry

cbi-logoCarolyn Fairbairn, Director-General:

“After a year of surprises, this was a stable Budget for business facing global stormy waters. The Chancellor has listened to our concerns about the mounting burden on firms and chosen to back business to grow the economy out of the deficit. Businesses will welcome the Chancellor’s permanent reforms to business rates – taking more small firms out of the regime and changing the uprating mechanism from RPI to CPI, which the CBI has long been calling for.”

“The reduction in the headline Corporation Tax rate sends out a strong signal that the UK is open for global business investment, and reforms to Interest Deductibility are in rightly in line with the international consensus.”

“Changes to the tax treatment of losses will make it harder for larger scale-up firms and companies that have been through tough times to play their part in the recovery. Progress on some key infrastructure projects, from HS3 to 5G, are positive. Investors and companies will be encouraged by the greater clarity and simplification of the Government’s energy policy.”

Institute of Economic Affairs

institute_economic_affairsMark Littlewood, Director General:

“This was a slow, steady, rather unimaginative budget, but at least the Chancellor hasn’t thrown out his target of a Budget surplus for 2020, even if he has almost no margin for error in hitting that target.”

“There were good signs for earners and enterprise in this Budget. The increase in the 40p threshold of income tax will be welcome relief for many middle-earners, whilst the substantial cuts to Capital Gains Tax will increase activity and may well pay for themselves in terms of increased revenue. The old top rate of 28% was actually losing the government income – high CGT rates damage economic growth by encouraging individuals to hold on to assets that would be better off under different ownership.”

“It is astonishing that the Chancellor has announced a tax on sugary drinks when there is no evidence from anywhere in the world that such taxes have the slightest effect on obesity. Whether dressed up as a direct tax or a levy on industry, the effect will be that the government will be picking the pockets of the poor for no benefit.”

Institute of Directors

IoDLogoSimon Walker, Director General:

“There was plenty in the Budget for small and medium-sized businesses. They will welcome measures including more relief on business rates and cuts to capital gains tax, and a further corporation tax reduction coming in a few years. Business leaders and workers alike will be pleased with increases to the income tax personal allowance and the higher rate thresholds next year, while the introduction of a lifetime ISA will be a big boost for young people who have been put off by the inflexibility of pensions.

“The announcements of new infrastructure will be welcomed by IoD members, both in London and across the North. They key with new roads and rail links is getting spades in the ground. Businesses in Northern cities have been waiting a long time for these improvements, and cannot afford to see the protracted delays we have endured on other major infrastructure, such as airports.

TaxPayers’ Alliance

tpalogoJonathan Isaby, Chief Executive:

“The Chancellor yet again delivered a mixed bag of measures which will do very little to address the state of the public finances. While taxpayers will welcome tax cuts like the rise in the personal allowance which will leave more money in people’s pockets, measures like the regressive Sugar Tax will penalise families already struggling with the cost of living. The Budget needed to include far more concrete measures to ease the enormous pressure on taxpayers and create a simpler, more competitive tax system.”

Centre for Policy Studies

CPS logoDaniel Mahoney, Head of Economic Research:

“George Osborne’s commitment to further spending cuts along with changes to the personal allowance and 40p tax thresholds is welcome. Some of the Budget’s tax proposals will also undoubtedly help boost British enterprise, particularly announcements on business rate relief, corporation tax and tax cuts for the offshore oil and gas industry. It is also welcome that a new Lifetime Savings ISA will be introduced, which is very similar to the proposal from CPS Research Fellow Michael Johnson.”

“However, the Chancellor has unfortunately ducked some of the more major reforms needed. His announcement on tax simplification, for example, falls far short of what is required.”

Centre for Social Justice

CSJ squarePhilippa Stroud, Director:

“There is much in this Budget that the CSJ welcomes – we have campaigned for a help to save measure; mentoring schemes have had our support since we first recommended home-school support champions; a commitment to tackling rough sleeping in our cities is crucial; and the raising of the National Living Wage so that work pays through earnings is vital.”

“But this Budget also spends millions on infrastructure programmes and tax reductions from building tunnels and railways to freezing beer duty.”

“If we are really committed to the next generation it is time to listen to what the next generation really needs: strong stable families with a strong early intervention programme”.

Bright Blue

Bright BlueDavid Kirkby, Senior Research Fellow:

“The Chancellor’s focus on boosting savings is welcome. Particularly for those on low income and for the self-employed, household savings are all too often limited or non-existent. This weakens financial resilience and can increase costs to the state in the long run.”

“Bright Blue has long been calling for government to incentivise and reward savings for those on low incomes through matched funding. The new Help to Save scheme is welcome and could significantly boost savings rates for those on low incomes.”