Budget: East small firms miss out on jobs incentive

THE East of England appeared to be penalised in the Budget for pulling itself out of the recession, according to one small business owner.

Craig Dade, managing director of Ipswich -based recruitment firm Time Appointments, which employs six staff, said: “The East of England appears to be being penalised for its strength and endeavour in pulling itself out of recession. We were identified as being an area that has recovered – or was at least recovering – well.

“In this Budget we have... been excluded from a scheme offering new companies receiving National Insurance relief of �5,000 for the first 10 new employees. I fear that this will impact on our competitiveness on a national and international stage.”

He was “not experiencing the level of despair” he might have expected, but feared the devil may be in the detail. The VAT increase was “bound to have an effect on growth and sales”, he added, particularly in retail, with knock-on effects throughout business.

He welcomed the increase in the Income Tax threshold for low earners.

“As recruitment consultants we are well aware that many people are better off on benefits than in work. Hopefully the Chancellor has done something to reverse that,” he said.