Autumn Statement 2014: reaction

The Chancellor George Osborne has delivered the 2014 Autumn Statement. Here is a summary of immediate reaction from the UK's leading business and industry bodies.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
John Allan, chairman of the FSB, said he was "delighted" that the Chancellor has extended the small business rate relief but said that "fundamental reform" would be necessary:

"All businesses will be grateful for this [business rate] review, but let's be absolutely clear on what businesses want - fundamental reform of the business rate system. The announced package of renewed reliefs will also be essential, as they will help bridge the gap until fundamental reform can deliver the change everyone agrees must now come."

Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, praised the Chancellor's changes to stamp duty and business rates but said that "fresh thinking" was needed to reduce public spending.

Forum of Private Businesses (FPB)
Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB, said that the Chancellor could have done more to support business and boost exports:

"The Chancellor was keen to provide a much needed boost for Britain's small businesses and there were some positive measures in today's speech which will go a long way to helping reduce costs and improving business confidence. Whether this will be enough as we enter a period of uncertainty at the start of next year remains to be seen."

British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
John Longworth, director-general of the BCC, was pleased by the Chancellor's decision to review business rates but said that it must lead to "fundamental change" in the system.

Association of British Insurers (ABI)
Otto Thoresen, outgoing director-general of the ABI, welcomed the abolition of the 55% tax charge on inherited pensions and certain annuities:

"Today's tax changes will give people more options. To ensure pensions tax policy is not skewed against income, the tax treatment of pension payments to a beneficiary after a customer's death should be the same, whether paid through an annuity or drawdown as income or as a lump sum."

A detailed guide to the 2014 Autumn Statement will be available to read on our site tomorrow morning.

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