John Garbutt, Director at Harrogate-based DSC Chartered Accountants, said:
Given the pre-election announcements of no increases in the rates of income tax, VAT or national insurance, it was still a surprising budget.
The big headline grabbing news for employees is the national living wage of £9 by 2020, which, along with an increase in the personal allowance threshold, will help many working people.
The increase in inheritance tax to potentially £1m for some families will also be a welcome relief and very popular.
There was plenty in the budget for business owners too. From the increase in the employment allowance to £3k which reduces the employers national insurance that is payable, to the reduction in corporation tax from 2017 to 19 per cent.
The annual investment allowance has also been set at a much more sensible level of £200k so now would be a good time to plan your capital expenditure.
On the other hand, the so called simplification of tax on dividends could mean that small business owners may end up paying tax at a higher rate.