Spring budget provides no news on tackling high-borrowing costs impacting businesses and consumers

“The Chancellor’s ‘Back-to-Work’ budget looks to return the nation to business as usual after the upheaval of the Autumn budget last year, though many are likely tackling very similar challenges to those they faced last November.

“In a sign that spring has sprung, the Chancellor and the OBR presented a less bleak picture of the nation’s economic outlook than shared last year. While there is unlikely to be substantial growth in 2023, the fears of recession that have dogged the first quarter of the year appear to be receding.

“Businesses certainly will welcome plans to restore tax relief for those reinvesting into research and development; however, there is little in the Chancellor’s plan to tackle high borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. Attention will quickly shift to the Bank of England’s base rate decision next week, though there seems little chance of an easing of climbing borrowing costs, as the Bank continues to tackle inflation.

“Regardless of next week’s rate decision, the credit sector will continue to ensure borrowers can access the credit products they need and support any consumers who find themselves vulnerable in the current economic situation.”

Paul Heywood, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Equifax UK