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Budget 2011: Osborne’s sop to SMEs

by: IFAonline
  • 23/03/2011
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Chancellor George Osborne has set out an array of business-friendly measures as he looks to the private sector to rejuvenate the nation’s economy.

This sop to the business world, announced in today’s Budget, includes exempting SMEs form new regulations and the creation of new enterprise zones.

Osborne, speaking in the Commons, said supporting private sector is “central to our economic ambitions as he declared “Britain is open for business”.

The Chancellor announced the small business rate relief holiday is being extended by one year to October 2012. This, he said, will cost of £370m.

As well as confirming SMEs will be exempt from new regulations, he also pledged a radical overhaul of planning rules and the creation of 21 new enterprise zones which will enjoy tax breaks.

A throw-back to the Thatcherite era, enterprise zones were a feature of the Conservative government in the 1980s.

In addition, Osborne unveiled a set of measures to make Britain more attractive to international businesses.

This includes an overhaul of the controlled foreign companies (CFC) regime and a tax break on patents.

“I want Britain to be the place businesses go to and not leave,” he said.

The Chancellor added he wants Britain to have the most competitive tax system in the world, a more balanced economy supporting manufacturing and exports and more flexible working regulations.

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