FINANCE director Gail Buswell, of Oxford hi-tech company Mirada Medical, welcomed the Chancellor’s statement that research and development (R&D) was “absolutely central” to Britain’s future.

But she said: “There were no big surprises for us, and the Budget is broadly neutral from our perspective.

“The main disappointment was the lack of action on access to bank finance for small businesses.”

Mirada’s workforce grew from 26 to 37 last year, and Ms Buswell said the R&D tax credit, being introduced in April, meant the company would continue to recruit in the UK, while also expanding overseas.

She welcomed the new 10 per cent corporation tax rate on profits from patents, to be introduced next month.

But she said the National Insurance (NI) changes, described by the Chancellor as a “tax off jobs” to help small businesses expand, were “insignificant”.

She added: “We employ 34 people in the UK, so a £2,000 reduction in our NI bill is not significant. I think it’s for people who are perhaps employing one other person. It does not go far enough to be of any benefit to us.”

The company makes software allowing doctors to process scanner images to treat cancer, and she said the Budget didn’t make it easier to sell to the NHS.

She said: “Exports make up 80 per cent of our revenue and we grew by 40 per cent last year, despite the difficult economy – but it would be nice if our cutting-edge technology could be used in the NHS.”

The Chancellor’s announcements on childcare vouchers would be welcomed by Mirada’s employees, she said, while Oxford’s high housing costs meant many staff with long commutes would benefit from bigger tax breaks on rail season ticket loans.