Budget 2012: Confidence key to unlocking growth

 

Stephen Gregson, corporate finance director at Moore and Smalley, outlines his expectations for the Budget.

 

Like many, I expect this Budget to be less about big structural changes and more about relatively small measures intended to stimulate confidence.

 

With inflation easing back, Government may be optimistic that the second half of the year will be far less bumpy than the first half and George Osbourne is likely to use the Budget to reinforce the Government’s message that Plan A is working.

 

From some quarters, there will inevitably be talk about the need to reduce red tape. But I think that this is much less of an issue than the slow rate at which confidence levels are increasing.

 

If anything, there’s arguably going to be more, and hopefully better, regulation needed in order to continue to deal with the problems that are perceived to have caused the downturn. The Government will be keen to show the rest of the electorate that it is being tough on irresponsible business practices and you can see it positioning this already with the legislative action taken against tax avoidance schemes at the big banks.

 

At the same time, Mr Osbourne has to demonstrate support for SMEs. They are the bedrock of our economy. Granted, there isn’t scope for huge financial giveaways, but he still has to deliver something tangible that will make businesses feel more comfortable about the future.