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real lives Tuesday, 9 March, 1999, 20:23 GMT
Small businessman: Better than I hoped for
Graham Playle and his wife Janet are directors of an Essex-based corporate communications business.

Creative Business Services encompasses two other companies, Double Image and Typos, and employs 13 people.

Mr Playle - who according to BBC News Online's Ready Reckoner will be a whole penny better off a week - is nevertheless "extremely pleased" with the announced cuts in corporation tax, saying it was better than he could have hoped for.

Before the Budget, he had hoped for the tax to be collected in instalments, and was "slightly disappointed" that such a measure had not been mentioned.

Stable economic environment

But he said that, on the whole, the chancellor appeared to have listened to the concerns of the small business community.

Mr Playle also welcomed moves to keep interest rates down, which he feels is leading to Britain going into the euro.

He believes that the chancellor is working towards an interest rate of 3%.

He said steady interest rates provide a stable economic environment for business and investment.

He underlined his positive feelings towards Britain entering the Euro. Although he has no direct contact with Europe, he says that the benefits of joining will filter through to his company.

He also strongly applauded the chancellor's support for science and technology enterprise.

And he said that from an employer's point of view, the government's support of vocational training and the over-50s returning to work was positive.

He said: "The concessions for R&D are a very good thing, as is encouraging high risk businesses.

'No mention of higher education'

"The over 50s represent a large body of experience, which is more valuable to employers than maybe that group itself realises."

His biggest disappointment was with the chancellor's lack of investment in higher education.

Mr Playle's youngest daughter is presently studying for A-levels, but is considering not going to university because of the potential financial hardship faced by students.

He said: "There was plenty said about school-aged education, which is good news.

"But there was no mention of higher education, apart from investment in science laboratories.

"In order to have a skilled workforce, we need skilled and educated young people."

But he said that overall, the Budget had been a positive one.

"In many ways it was better than I had hoped for," he said.

See also:

26 Feb 99 | real lives
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