George Osborne has done a decent job for business

With his delivery of the Autumn Statement, George Osborne might have done little to shake off his pantomime villain persona among the masses, but there's no denying he puts business first.


With his delivery of the Autumn Statement, George Osborne might have done little to shake off his pantomime villain persona among the masses, but there’s no denying he puts business first.

With his delivery of the Autumn Statement, George Osborne might have done little to shake off his pantomime villain persona among the masses, but there’s no denying he puts business first.

There’s a long way to go of course, and the initiatives are not always without fault, but the extra £1 billion of capital for the new business bank, as well as the temporary doubling of the small business rate relief scheme and the £1.5 billion export finance facility represent steps in the right direction.

Increased capital allowances for plant and machinery should also help small companies expand and create new jobs as well. With the increase in the annual investment allowance from £25,000 to £250,000, small businesses will get 100 per cent capital allowances for a larger portion, if not all of their capital investment in plant and machinery.

On the employer side, one potential piece of good news might be that companies can give employees at least £2,000 worth of free shares and that they can be completely outside the tax net. There should be more details on tax rules next week, but to take this option, as Ruby Parmar, head of private business at PricewaterhouseCooper says,     employees would need to give up some valuable employment rights which may not sit comfortably with all.

At the end of the day, Osborne can only work with what he’s got. The difficulty of balancing the reduction of a gaping deficit with investing in long-term growth cannot be underestimated and while there are some more intracacies to be thrashed out (further details on the Business Bank, for example  on balance, the Chancellor delivered a statement that will encourage business.

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