Digests

Shaun Powell, marketing and commercial director for Thomson Holidays, says: “This is very good news looking at the number of initiatives relating to the family, such as the increase in child benefit. This should increase disposable income for mass-market families, which is an important part of our business. Our Skytours customers will benefit from this. There’s nothing in there that should hurt us.”

David Fletcher, strategic planning director for CIA Medianetwork UK, says: “Greater transparency for financial services could mean we have an extra half inch of small print at the bottom of ads in addition to the small type we already have. I think there will a number of tactical advertising opportunities from the Budget – tax disappearing on mobile phones and computer companies who want to take advantage of the new scheme where companies can loan pcs to employees for home use as a tax-free benefit.

Will Whitehorn, public relations director for Virgin, says: “Generally, it’s a good Budget for consumers and a good Budget for entrepre neurs. And the beefing up of the OFT and MMC is good news for Virgin. It’s a widely expansionist Budget, which is good for holidays and travel and can’t but help nail the view that this country is going into recession.”

Alex Rodrigues, marketing director of Ericsson Mobile Phones, says: “The removal of the 200 tax on mobile phones supplied by businesses will remove the burden on employers and have a particularly good impact on small businesses. Networks will be offered tax relief on the purchase of third-generation mobile phone licences, creating a level playing field, which will be good for consumers. The 1.7bn ‘computers for all’ investment will be a long-term benefit with the convergence of technologies.”

Pat Burnett, managing director of Wallis, says: “The introduction of the 10p tax rate and the 1p cut on the basic rate of income tax should increase consumers’ disposable income and general confidence which will be good news on the high street.”

John Warren, group finance director for United Biscuits, says: “The Budget has been designed to stimulate the economy. The one per cent standard tax cut means consumers will have more money to spend.”

Grahame Cox, UK marketing director of Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, says: “I think it’s a little disappointing. We were hoping the Government would cut excise duty on spirits. It makes our job that much more difficult when we have goods coming over from the Continent. We are unable to compete on a level playing field with France.”

Richard Hyman, chairman of retail analysts Verdict Research, says: “It was mildly positive. I am cautiously upbeat on what he has done for the consumer and retail economy but there is a bit of giving with one hand while taking away with the other.”

Chris Ogden, director of trade and industry affairs for the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, says: “We estimate the Treasury is losing more than 1.5bn a year in excise duty through smuggling. I do not believe the Chancellor’s pledge to increase the resources of customs and excise will have any major effect on tobacco smuggling”…

…Clive Bates, director of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to act on the issue: “Smuggling is a law and order issue and the right way to tackle crime is to put more money into law enforcement, not to give into it and reverse a perfectly sensible tax and health policy.”

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