News story

Budget 2011

Government sets out radical plan to get the UK economy growing.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Chancellor, George Osborne, presented the 2011 Budget on 23 March.

The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.

The Plan for Growth, published at Budget, sets out a package of measures to support private sector investment, enterprise and innovation. It is based around four overarching ambitions for the British economy:

  • Create the most competitive tax system in the G20.
  • Make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.
  • Encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy.
  • Create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“We needed decisive action to rebalance the economy and remove the barriers to private sector-led growth. Today’s plan for growth is a significant first step towards that.

“We needed to make tough choices to reverse the debt-fuelled model for growth that has led to the massive economic crisis whose legacy the Government is having to manage. We have already provided the stability the private sector needs by dealing with the deficit and reforming the regulation of the financial system.

“Now we are setting out the measures that will turn the economy around. By reducing the burden of red-tape, improving access to finance and investing in apprenticeships and skills, we can make sure that British businesses have the right conditions to grow and thrive.”

The Plan for Growth

The Plan for Growth builds on the action that the Government has already taken, through the Growth Review and Budget 2011. The Growth Review is a forensic look across Government at the barriers to growth - and how Government can remove them to stimulate private enterprise.

As part of the Plan for Growth the Government has today announced an £180 million package for 50,000 additional apprenticeships, and an additional 80,000 work placements for young people, and a capital investment of £100 million in science.

Small businesses with less than ten employees will be expempt from new domestic regulation for three years, starting from 1st April.

There is also a commitment to the low carbon economy through the Green Investment Bank, which will start with an initial capitalisation of £3 billion.

Other measures include:

  • Fundamental reforms to the way the planning system works.
  • Land auctions to be piloted, starting with public sector land.
  • Reducing the burden of regulation for businesses. This includes scrapping proposals for specific regulations which would have cost business over £350 million a year.
  • Reform of the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts.
  • Funding for 24 University Technical Colleges.
  • The main rate of corporation tax will be reduced by a further 1% to 26% in April 2011.
  • Business rate relief holiday for small firms extended for another year.
  • 21 Enterprise Zones across England, with simplified planning rules, superfast broadband and tax breaks for businesses.
  • UKTI to deliver an enhanced bespoke service to investors from overseas.
Published 23 March 2011