The chancellor was praised for responding to the concerns of big businesses by reducing the proposed increases in commercial energy bills from 6% to 4%. The increase under the climate change levy will apply to smaller commercial users of gas, coal and electricity, allaying fears the rise would be steeper. Larger energy users will receive an 80% discount if they sign efficiency agreements and will see a 0.9% increase in their energy bills. The levy will be recycled through a 0.3% reduction in employers' national insurance contributions. 'It will prevent the possibility of larger companies moving out of the UK,' said Arthur Andersen tax partner Bill Dodwell. Experts were surprised the chancellor did not mention company cars as expected.
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