Budget 2013: Did George Osborne deliver for business?


Budget 2013: What it means for you

Did Osborne deliver for business? For every one job lost in the public sector in the last year, six more jobs were created in the private sector he claimed. Osborne claimed 600,000 jobs will be created this year plus 60,000 fewer people claiming benefits.

But what hard and fast benefits does business, big and small, get from Osborne?

So far we have...

Tax - UK Corporation Tax will be trimmed 1% to 20% from 2015. This move though is likely to cost around £0.4bn. The cost of this will be paid by a hike in the bank levy, to 0.142%. There will be new tax avoidance agreements with tax havens.

However the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) has just predicted that tax receipts for this year are likely to be £5bn lower than last year.

Property/building industry - there's a new mortgage guarantee Help to Buy scheme that should, claims Osborne, see UK lenders give loans to those struggling without a deposit. Its hoped this will stimulate lending of £130bn in total.

Part of the Help to Buy scheme also sees a government-underwritten loan, worth up to 20% of the value of the property, if you have a 5% deposit. But note, only for new-build. It also means that the taxpayer will likely be on the hook here for this liability, though there is no up-front money that the Government has to cough up here - clever.

This scheme will cover properties on sales up to the value of £600,000 and the loan will be interest-free for the first five years, followed by a +1.75% annual fee linked to RPI inflation. Note that this deal will not be available for buy-to-let investors. It's likely that share prices in house builders will be boosted today.

Employers - there's a new employment allowance. This should slash companies' national insurance liabilities by £2,000 per employee, Osborne claims. Practically, around 450,000 small business should pay no jobs tax whatsoever.

Welcome news for around 1m UK employers.

Lending boost - businesses should benefit from an expansion of the Government's Funding for Lending scheme.

Inflation - the 2% inflation target will be kept (but sticking to it is still problematic, to say the least). But the Bank of England will need to give more detail on its decision-making.

Regional spending - Osborne says Michael Heseltine's idea for a single pot of funding to push regional economic development will be adopted. However this move is something of a U-turn given all the changes made in 2010 by Eric Pickles when he abolished nine regional agencies in an effort to save money.

Plaid Cymru's Treasury spokesman Jonathan Edwards has told the BBC that the capital spending announced is only a fraction of what is needed.

Quantative easing - will continue. More broadly, there was more talk from Osborne about cheap money - continued low interest rates?

Energy - shale gas tax incentives. "Part of the future and we will make it happen," Osborne claims. For shale gas, read fracking, a controversial practice where shale gas is drawn after drilling and fracturing the ground with high pressure liquid.

Osborne says he is exempting the ceramics industry from the climate change levy on energy costs.

Investing - stamp duty for shares traded on the AIM will be trimmed.

Company cars - Two new benefit-in-kind bands. One will be for ultra-low emission vehicles in a 0-50g/km CO2 band; the second band will go from 51-75g/km CO2. This means a 5% band for 2015/16 and 9% for the higher band. Following years will see further rises.

Note that company tax rates are now being delivered with three years notice.

VAT - no cut, a move that will disappoint many.

Tax, spending and borrowing