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Summer Budget 2015: Reaction

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The Chancellor George Osborne has delivered the first all-Conservative Budget statement in almost 20 years.

Here is a collection of snap reactions from the UK’s leading business groups:

Federation of Small Businesses

John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, said that the Chancellor has unveiled a “mixed bag of proposals”:

“There was further support to reduce corporation tax, fix the annual investment allowance and boost regional growth, where investment in roads will be particularly well received.

He agreed with the emphasis placed on boosting productivity but voiced concern about the introduction of a national living wage:

“However, even though offset by a welcome increase in the employment allowance, some will find the new national living wage challenging. Changes to the treatment of dividends will also affect many of our members.”

Confederation of British Industry

CBI director general John Cridland agreed that it was a “double-edged” Budget for businesses:

“Firms will welcome measures to balance the books and boost investment, but they will be concerned by legislating for wage increases they may not be able to deliver.”

British Chambers of Commerce

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, was more positive about the Chancellor’s statement and praised his “genius balance of politics and economics”:

“The Chancellor has confirmed that Britain is open for business. Firms across the UK will cheer not just the new permanent Annual Investment Allowance, further Corporation Tax reductions, and lower National Insurance for small businesses, but also commitments to childcare and higher education that help them employ Britain’s best.”

He added that businesses will want assurance that the move to create a national living wage would follow an “evidence-based approach that will minimise the impact on small businesses for whom the adjustment will be harder.”

Institute of Directors

Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said that the Chancellor’s announcement of a new living wage was “dramatic” but argued that businesses have been sufficiently compensated in other areas:

“In return [for a national living wage], companies have been provided with a cut to corporation tax and an increase in the employment allowance. We should not understate the boldness of this move, and many businesses will have been taken by surprise, but the IoD accepts that after several years of slow wage rises, now is the time for companies to increase pay.”

Read our other news stories outlining measures affecting businesses and personal finances, as well as a round-up of other headline announcements.

A detailed guide to the Summer Budget 2015 will be published on the morning of Thursday 9 July.