Budget 2010: A Holding Action

Last Updated Mar 24, 2010 7:29 AM EDT

As this year's Budget approaches, predictions are rife and unusually at odds with one another -- how will the Chancellor tackle the big elephant that is public sector spending, the biggest issue the economy -- that is, individuals and businesses -- face this year. Will he tackle measures now or leave the heavy lifting to whoever is at Number 11 after the election?

The UK needs to maintain competitiveness, attract inward investment and encourage entrepreneurship, but even if this year's deficit is less (than £178bn), this is going to be the focus -- leaving 'venture' investment in small business-centric initiatives thin on the ground.

Thisismoney focuses on individual tax rises (such as the new 50p rate) and their effect on middle-earners well into next year. But we've already been primed for higher taxes and spending cuts. It's what's left for business development that's still unclear. PricewaterhouseCoopers believes business growth can only come with economic stability and enterprise incentives to bolster private enterprise in the UK.

Some hope is held out for higher lending from the part-nationalised banks, which may be compelled to lend up to £100bn this year and help support UK start-ups.

But overall I'm inclined to agree with the likes of Roger Bootle at Deloitte, who sees this as putting off the inevitable swing of the axe post-election.

Even so, we'll be keeping an eye out for the measures that most impact the working public and will post our views here and at @bnetjh.

Let us know what you think and whether this year's Budget has a big effect on your business -- and on your voting decision for 2010.