IT is interesting that the Financial Times spent a number of days in Thurrock meeting a number of businesses to discuss the UK economy.
Wednesdays budget has received a mixed reaction from local businesses.
David Copes from Copes Estate Agents gave his reaction to the incentives for house-buyers.
David said: “The 5% and equity loan of 20% is great news for new builders and will help the government plans to increase housing stock. On the downside the majority of New Builds carry a premium. Which unless prices rise can be difficult to clawback.
“The other incentive offered in the Budget – The Help to buy Mortgage guarantee would help movement in the re-sale market so long as the lenders play ball. It will be interesting to see what they offer!”
Ockendon-based construction and repairs company, H W Wilson studied the budget and gave have a mixed reaction.
Phil Pearson said: “The attempts to drive the housing market is good as this is always a key indicator and runs in line with the construction industry, but we feel great care is needed in encouraging lenders to support higher percentage loan to value mortgages, with so many borrowers already feeling the squeeze in their income in other ways.
“We hope the rise in personal tax free allowances will help our employees and the staged reduction in corporation tax is good news so long as we SMEs can manage to make a profit!”
The devil is often in the detail and so asked John Kemp from Tilbury-based AJ Insurance to see if there was anything in the “small print” that he noticed.
John said:”We are pleased that the government is looking to help small businesses and have refrained from increasing insurance premium tax which currently stands at 6%.”
On Thursday, there was good news as retail sales increased by 2.1%. YT asked general manager of Lakeside retail centre for his reaction.
Paul Lancaster said: “Some sectors are doing well although there is a general consensus, customers are feeling the pinch, particularly for family groups and those areas who have above average unemployment.
“I am pleased to say the (Lakeside) Shopping Centre continues to welcome visitor numbers above the shopping centre average.