Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said:

“Today, the Chancellor has shown a genuine willingness to listen to business with measures that will get firms innovating and help the economy to grow. It takes several positive steps forward, but isn’t bold enough to deliver the high investment, high productivity economy the Government seeks.

“On Business Rates, the Chancellor made real strides in making the system more palatable for businesses in the shorter term. More frequent valuations, wider reliefs and improving the incentives for firms to decarbonise their premises is what firms have been calling for. But the hard truth is that wholesale reform to unlock investment was rejected today. The Government missed the opportunity to truly reform a business rates system that diminishes Britain’s high streets and factories.

“The Government’s commitment to innovation will be a central cog to the UK’s prospects to leading in the industries of the future. This will be essential to be globally competitive so the Government must stick to these targets in the coming years.

“Meanwhile, businesses will welcome the new skills bootcamps. This agile approach must now be the watchword when it comes to revolutionising the skills landscape, including for apprenticeships.

“This Budget alone won’t seize the moment and transform the UK economy for a post-Brexit post-Covid world. Businesses remain in a high tax, low productivity economy with concerns about inflation. But the Budget will have a positive impact across the economy and makes several changes that will be welcomed by UK businesses.”