Let’s start with the good news. Yes, there was some. NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) welcomed the new £750m fund for high-potential new businesses in sectors such as cleantech and digital media. CEO Jonathan Kestenbaum said: "The fund will give a new vibrancy to the UK’s technology market and will bring about deep and lasting change to our economy". The British Venture Capital Association was not impressed, seeing the new Strategic Investment Fund as a return to central planning and "picking winners", the Independent reported. As trailed here at Real Business, the government also introduced a new credit insurance scheme for small businesses. This, and the other fragments of good news such as the rise in capital allowances for small firms, are covered in The Times here and here by the BBC. Otherwise it’s universal damnation. "Small businesses have been largely ignored," said John Wright of the Federation of Small Businesses in The Times. All in all, says the Telegraph, the new 50p tax rate for £150,000-plus earners will drive talent from the UK. Just when we needed it most.
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