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Bankside businesses get Budget lowdown

More than 50 members of Bankside's business community gathered at Roast on Thursday morning for a briefing on the implications of Gordon Brown's latest Budget.

Ed Crooks
Better Bankside Business Club chair Mike Hill of Utobeer with the FT's Ed Crooks

Financial Times UK news editor Ed Crooks described Gordon Brown's speech to the Commons on Wednesday as "a Budget for the cognoscenti". He added: "In broad terms absolutely nothing happened, but there's a lot of interest in the detail".

Crooks went on to outline the key measures relating to education, the environment and taxation. He also looked ahead to next year's Government spending review and Mr Brown's likely relocation from number 11 to number 10 Downing Street.

He fielded questions from Bankside business representatives on subjects including inheritance tax and childcare provisions.

Bankside Residents' Forum chair Anne Radford asked about the impact of the Chancellor's announcement of real estate investment trusts on the Bankside area which is under pressure from property developers. "If you're opposing development, it's bad news" replied Crooks. Shares in Land Securities jumped 12.9 per cent on Wednesday in response to the Budget announcement.

This was the third annual Budget briefing hosted by Better Bankside. Previous events have been held at Tas in 2004 and Amano in 2005.

• Discuss the Budget and its implications for local business in the Better Bankside forum

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