For me the Budget 2014 was more about wooing voters than doing anything for businesses. Not only were measures to help existing Small and Medium sized businesses (SMEs) very thin on the ground, but crucially, there were no measures whatsoever to help people looking to start their own business.
So with Start-ups having been ignored, where are our future SME's going to come from? Do we become an adult without having been a baby first? How does a business become a SME without having been a start-up first? The Start Up phase is by far one of the hardest phases, if not the hardest, of the business lifecycle. To ignore that phase completely is an error in judgement and will also impact our economy in the long term.
I come across people every day that want to start their own business but don't have the means or confidence to do so. These people, who are voters also, needed the help of the chancellor. They needed help through measures that encouraged better advice and support for people looking to, or about to, start their own business. They needed a reduction in red tape in areas such as hiring graduate interns to help them grow. They needed the chancellor to make it easier and more cost effective for them to obtain commercial premises - perhaps through incentivising owners of empty premises to make their premises available to start-ups. They needed measures to help them get over that critical three year phase such as the removal of business rates for that whole period.
I've no doubt that the overall proportion of people looking to start up compared to the general voting public is small and this therefore was at the forefront of the chancellor's mind - everyone has to prioritise after all. However, bearing in mind that each of these businesses will employ anything up to 10 employees over the course of their business - surely measures aimed at being able to increase employment would should have been a vote puller?
For me this budget got it wrong on the start up front by ignoring the value start-ups bring to our economy and doing nothing for them. We may not realise the impact of this up to the election, which is perhaps what the chancellor is counting on, but it's clearly not in our country's long term interest. A budget for 'doers'? I don't think so!