BUSINESS leaders warned tax benefits now may be cancelled out further down the line with increases elsewhere looming, and said, while the Chancellor showed a willingness to listen, the Budget lacked boldness.

Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said the crucial test was whether the Budget gave business the confidence to invest, adding: "The Chancellor's business rates and R&D tax credit reforms are welcome, but with hefty hikes in other taxation on the horizon that may not be enough to convince business leaders to press go on their plans for growth.

"He had an opportunity to partially reverse his previous decisions on employment and profit taxes, made in tougher times, but he chose not to do so.

"While promising a 'skills revolution', the actual measures that were announced, while welcome, felt piecemeal, and will not give business confidence that we have a coherent plan to prevent future labour shortages for our post-pandemic era outside the EU."

Tony Danker, CBI director general, said: "The Chancellor has shown a genuine willingness to listen to business with measures that will get firms innovating and help the economy to grow.

"It takes several positive steps forward, but isn't bold enough to deliver the high investment, high productivity economy the Government seeks."

Shevaun Haviland, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Businesses have been battered by 18 months of the pandemic and problems around supply chain costs and disruption, labour shortages, price rises, soaring energy bills and taxes, and there may still be difficult months ahead.

"If firms face unexpected bumps in the road, the Chancellor must be prepared to take further action to enable the economy to fire on all cylinders again."

Budget: Scots hospitality industry warns of 'cliff edge'

The Scottish Government has been urged to match the relief from business rates handed to the hospitality industry in England by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Autumn Budget.

Sunak unveiled a new 50 per cent business rates discount for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors south of the Border in a tax cut he declared would be worth £1.7 billion.

Scottish tourism chiefs hail controversial cut to air passenger duty

Tourism chiefs have hailed the cut in air passenger duty as a “hugely positive step” in the recovery of the travel and aviation sectors from the effects of the pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak slashed APD for travellers flying within the UK by half at today’s Budget, while increasing the rate for long-haul flights.

No new funding for North Sea transition but string of projects receive cash

A range of Scottish projects have been granted funding as part of the Chancellor's budget today.

Among them are Inverness Castle, Pollok Stables and a new marketplace for Aberdeen city centre. 

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