THE 2012 budget announcement has been described as a “neutral budget for business” by the chief executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

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Tim Hutchings said he was pleased by Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to immediately cut corporation tax by one per cent, but was dissapointed that a planned rise in fuel duty was not scrapped.

He also questioned the Chancellor’s plans to creat one million new jobs within the next five years.

“We’re pleased with the additional cuts to corporation tax,” Mr Hutchings said. “That will help a lot of smaller companies.

“But it’s disapointing he’s done nothing to stop the fuel duty rise in the summer, or increases in business rates.

“We welcome the news that one million jobs are to be created, but they certainly won’t be created unless people have the skills to fill the jobs.

“We’re still seeing technology companies with job vacancies being unable to fill the roles because people don;t have the skills.

“I think this Government, like the previous Government, needs to be more pro-active in churning out people with the right technology, scientific, literacy and numeracy skills.

“I think it’s going to be a relatively nuetral budget for business.”

Although Chancellor Osborne did announce an extra £100m for university science research, Mr Hutchings said many of the students who took up scientific degrees in the UK were from overseas.

“It sounds good, but in a way we’re educating the opposition,” he said. “I’d have to wait and see the detail on that.”

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