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Budget 2011: Britain open for business?

‘Britain is open for business’ said the Chancellor last week as he reiterated the government’s ambition to create the most competitive tax system in the G20.

So did he deliver the goods to back this up? The answer for most businesses is probably yes. Banks and the North Sea oil and gas industry will disagree but otherwise it was definitely a Budget for business with the tax rate and CFC changes helping multinationals while R&D and a suite of personal tax changes are aimed at encouraging investment in small businesses and start ups in particular.

On policy-making there are also some encouraging signs. As Budgets go it seemed quite transparent and was largely free of surprises. Where major policy changes are mooted the commitment to consultation was reiterated in contrast to some of the shocks we’ve had in past years such as the sudden changes...

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