It’s a Budget of two halves for firms

THE good parts of the Budget were cancelled out by the bad, according to the managing director of a major East Anglian ingredients firm.

Alan Ridealgh, managing director of malt and malted ingredients company Muntons, based at Stowmarket, welcomed some elements of the Budget, including the reduction in Corporation Tax, but was less enthusiastic about the increase in VAT. The firm, which employs 240 staff at Stowmarket site, has seen a boom in its homebrew kits trade in the recession and post-recession period as beer and wine lovers look at cut-price ways to enjoy a tipple.

“Overall, the good parts of this budget are cancelled out by the bad ones, but I have no doubt our sales of Homebrew kits for beer and wine will continue to prosper as they provide an opportunity for people to enjoy good beer and wine cheaply made in their own home and from top class local ingredients,” said Mr Ridealgh.

He welcomed the Chancellor’s proposals for a “green” bank, as the company, which featured in the Sunday Times Best Green Companies list at number 20, is keen to develop various environmentally-friendly initiatives over the next few years.

“The Chancellor introduced his speech by saying it was a budget for manufacturing and exports. As we do both, if true, it should be good news,” he said.

“This budget was always going to be some and some.

“On one hand, there are incentives to business such as the reduction in corporation tax and national insurance tweaks, whilst on the other hand there were measures which will curb demand in the UK, especially the VAT increase. It was good to see no increase in duty on alcohol, but of course brewers will still suffer from the VAT increases.”

Most Read

But changes to the rules on capital allowances – in effect making them less attractive – would probably make life more complicated, he said, leaving one winner – accountants.

They would be keen to learn more about proposals for supporting research and development, following the recent opening of its �500,000 new product development Centre for Excellence, he said.