The CBI has welcomed individual business-friendly steps in the Budget, but said the package fell short of the boost for UK competitiveness that employers were seeking.
Sir Digby Jones, CBI director-general, said: “Steps to reduce red tape, expand R&D tax credits and boost UK trade and investment have our wholehearted support.
“But business will be disappointed that the opportunity truly to improve UK competitiveness has been lost. UK firms have watched while other countries have reduced business taxes to help their companies compete in this era of globalisation. Yet the UK continues to do the opposite.
“It is vital that the chancellor reins back on public sector expansion and the promised cuts are welcome. But simply redistributing money within a spiralling budget is not enough.
“We welcome extra spending on education, as long as it delivers improved results and young people with the necessary literacy and numeracy skills.”