December 05, 2012 - Rachel Miller
There was some good news for businesses in George Osborne's Autumn Statement — against a backdrop of gloomy forecasts.
The headline announcements for businesses were:
Austerity measures have been extended to 2018 as Osborne admitted that he would be missing his own target for reducing the national debt. And he said the UK economy is now expected to shrink by a worse than expected 0.1% this year.
Despite the gloom, Osborne said Britain was "on the right track and turning back now would be a disaster". The OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) has predicted growth of 1.2% next year and 2% in 2014.
In addition, new investment announcements in the Autumn Statement have been outlined by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS):
The Autumn Statement was broadly welcomed by John Walker, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB): "We welcome today's statement and we are encouraged by the Chancellors' acknowledgement that small businesses need more help. We accept that bold actions are needed to boost the economy and we hope we are on the right road to helping small firms. The Chancellor has listened to many of our members' concerns, and has put forward proposals to address these issues - notably around capital allowances, more encouragement for investors to place funding in small businesses, and cancelling the 3p rise in fuel duty. We now eagerly await further details on the small business bank which we have long seen playing a central role in opening up finance for small firms."