Fewer than one in five smaller company finance directors believe last week's pre-Budget statement addressed the real issues facing British business. Just 18% of FDs said the statement tackled relevant issues with a further 29% undecided about the merits of the chancellor's statement. Some 53% said the chancellor was failing to tackle the right issues. The result of this week's Accountancy Age Big Question, conducted by Reed Accountancy Personnel, found that many of more than 200 FDs questioned believed the Green Budget produced 'policies for headlines not policies for substance.' The survey also suggested smaller businesses lack confidence in the economy. '(The Budget forecast) is totally unrealistic in terms of growth potential. He's playing to the gallery rather than dealing with the issues,' said Andrew Grey, FD at IT consultancy MAS. 'The politicians don't have the freedom to address the core issues. They have pushed interest rates over to the Bank of England and have done nothing to reduce bureaucracy. There are still substantial problems within the EU regarding trade,' added Regent Belt Company FD, Forbes Hodge. Other FDs were more positive with some encouraged by the prospect of 'meatier' announcements in the April Budget. 'It very much depends on which part of the market you are in. There was good news for start-up and small hi-tech companies, but not much for more mature or exporting firms,' said Andrew Crean, FD at Granada Food Services.
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