Budget is ‘neutral’ for businesses, says Redbridge Chamber of Commerce

John Clark at Faces nightclub

John Clark at Faces nightclub - Credit: Archant

Local business chiefs have given tepid reactions to Chancellor George Osborne’s “beer and bingo” Budget announced last week.

Many are sceptical over whether tax cuts will be passed onto individuals.

Among the headline-making announcements were the penny per pint cut in beer, taxes on bingo halls halved, and pensioners given greater access to their savings.

The Redbridge Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast meeting on Tuesday to discuss the impact on local trade and consumers.

Chairman Geoff Hill said: “One of the things that was noted was that you would have to drink beer for three months before you got a free pint, but that depends on how much you drink.

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“It cuts the bingo halls tax in half but what does that mean to the players?” There were also breaks in National Insurance (NI) for the under 21s and the annual investment allowance against corporation tax was doubled to £500,000.

Mr Hill said: “I think the general feeling was that apart from the holiday for NI payments for young people and a change in capital allowances, it was a very business neutral budget.

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“The capital allowance changes are positive.

“It’s going to allow people to spend money on their business equipment and premises.

“The NI holiday sounds positive but we need to know all the details of recruiting young people first.”

John Clark, co-owner of nightclub Faces, in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, said of the beer duty cut: “It’s not a great difference but every little helps. We won’t pass this on to customers but when taxes go up we don’t always put our prices up.”

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