NO pain, no gain was Haines Watts’ take on the Chancellor’s budget.

Julie Bryant, Stephen Edwards and David Smy, from the firm of chartered accountants based in Sarum Hill, held a presentation at the Red Lion Hotel last week to give their view of George Osborne’s 2014 budget and its implications for SMEs in the Basingstoke area.

David said: “While the UK economy will be back at the level it achieved pre-recession this year, growth has largely been achieved through consumer spending, rather than from savings, productivity growth or a rise in earnings.

“In fact, in terms of GDP, experts say the real growth won't follow until 2017.

“Set against this backdrop, the message was firmly that, although the economy is stronger, much more work needs to be done to get back into shape.”

Stephen said: “The Government is keen not to fritter any money away and Haines Watts reminded businesses to ensure they don’t get caught by the new measures being implemented to counter tax avoidance or the deferment of tax payments.

Julie said the Government did make several useful concessions for SMEs.

“Of interest to the many manufacturing and technology-based firms in the Basingstoke and Thames Valley will be the fact that it has invested over £100 million in the science and technology sector.

“From April the rate of the payable tax credit will be increased from 11 per cent to 14.5 per cent for loss-making SMEs conducting R&D activities.”