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Budget 2011: Overview

Despite lower than expected economic growth in 2010, and lower growth projections for 2011, the coalition has not toned down its plans to reduce government borrowing.

It therefore had little room for tax cuts or giveaways in the 2011 Budget.

To counter criticism that lower growth is the result of earlier government cuts, the coalition heralded the 2011 Budget as a ‘Budget for growth’, but with little leeway for large giveaways the focus has been on decreased regulation and fewer planning restrictions, such as the three-year moratorium on new regulations for businesses with fewer than ten staff.

The headline news was a larger than expected cut of two per cent on the rate of corporation tax, but there were also smaller growth-oriented announcements on extra money for regional railways (£200 million), the introduction of 21 Enterprise Zones in England, a rise in small firms’ research and development tax credits to 200 per cent and funding of £2 billion for a new ‘Green Bank’ from April 2012.

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