Simon Roberts, tax partner at chartered accountancy and business advisory firm Hentons, which has offices in Sheffield, Leeds, York, Thirsk and London, said: “The promise of a blockbuster budget was in the offing, but some will be forgiven for thinking that the Chancellor has kicked the can down the road.

“Businesses and their owners will be breathing a sigh of relief though that coronavirus relief measures continue for now and increased taxes will largely take effect in the future, after the anticipated return to normal economic activity levels.

“Embattled importers and exporters are likely to welcome the opportunities that eight new Freeports will present them with. The much-debated complete withdrawal of Business Asset Disposal Relief and changes to Capital Gains Tax rates were notably absent from the speech, and many business owners whose planned retirements have been put back by Coronavirus will be elated that their retirement plans may still come to fruition, eventually.”