Business leaders in Birmingham have welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget, which offered a series of boosts for the region’s firms.

George Osborne said that the first £2,000 would be taken off the national insurance paid by every company for each employee from April 2014.

Steve Brittan, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce (BCC), also welcomed the move to cut corporation tax to 20 per cent by April 2015 – which gives the country "the lowest business tax of any major economy in the world", according the chancellor.

He said: "Given that there has been another increase in the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the West Midlands, job creation measures, such as cutting NICs for employers, is good news."

The Help to Buy mortgage announcement for new home buyers announced by Mr Osborne was welcomed by Mr Brittan as a "much-need shot in the arm for the construction industry, an important part of our region’s economy which has been severely depressed in recent years.

Mr Brittan added: "The announcement that an extra £3 billion of government money per year would be put into infrastructure projects is welcome but we need to see action on many promises that have been unfulfilled in the past.

"Another example of delay is that we are still awaiting details about how the Business Bank will function and there were no clues in his speech."

He added: "All businesses will welcome the decision not to carry out the planned 2p per litre rise in fuel duty and many will herald the 1p per pint cut in the duty on beer."