New figures from a post-Budget survey by Populus undertaken on behalf of the British Chambers of Commerce has found that business has not been impressed by this year's Budget.

In response to the question: "Thinking of today's Budget what do you think it is likely to do for the overall competitiveness of Britain's businesses?", the responses were:

Improve competitiveness 17%
Make no difference 60%
Make competitiveness worse 23%

When asked: "How is the Budget likely to affect the overall burden of tax your business pays?", the responses were:

Increase it 43%
Decrease it 10%
It will broadly remain unchanged 47%

The Chancellor claimed would be a "Budget for business" but our survey shows that only 17% of business think it will improve Britain's competitiveness while 43% think it will increase their tax burden.

The poll also revealed that 71% of UK businesses think that the rise in the Small Companies’ Rate from 19 to 22 per cent will harm their business.

David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce said: 

"The results of our survey make worrying reading for Gordon Brown.

“In our budget submission we urged the Chancellor to think small first. He failed to this and instead has increased the burden on small and medium sized businesses. The rise in small companies corporation tax will have a particularly damaging effect, with 71% of those surveyed saying it would harm their business.

"As a Chancellor who champions enterprise and acknowledges the importance of small business to the UK economy, many of our members feel let down and are dismayed by the measures taken which will hit their competitiveness and increase their tax burden”.