6 July 2015

This week sees Chancellor George Osborne's second Budget of the year — his first as part of a Conservative majority government — and various organisations have already set out what they would like to hear on Wednesday.

A call to back ambitious small businesses has come, not surprisingly perhaps, from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). It wants action in key areas including addressing skills shortages, reforming and simplifying the tax system, helping more businesses export, and investing in the UK's infrastructure.

National Chairman John Allan stressed that rebalancing economic activity and raising the performance of those parts of the UK beyond London and the South East must be a priority for the Government.

"The Chancellor must therefore follow through with much-needed infrastructure development across the UK as a whole by enhancing transport links, improving broadband and investing in the Northern Powerhouse," he concluded.

Meanwhile, the pre-Budget plea from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) can also be classed in the not surprising category. As it has often said in the past, it wants the Chancellor to freeze or cut fuel duty.

Its pre-Budget submission to Mr Osborne also includes calls to fund driver training and to make road investment a priority. Finally, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned that the Budget must not neglect investment in vocational and further education and workforce skills.

"Decisions over how we fund vocational and further education and support small businesses to raise their game and get more out of their people are just as critical to our future prosperity as investments in transport, infrastructure and technology and need to be given more attention by Government and businesses," CIPD Chief Economist Mark Beatson said.