Autumn Statement responsible, solid, and focused on local growth
23 November 2016
Giving his initial reaction to the Autumn Statement, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Philip Hammond has delivered a responsible, solid and focused package that will reassure both business and markets.
“Increased resources for local and regional transport infrastructure, broadband, housing and innovation will boost business confidence at a critical moment. The Chancellor's strong focus on the growth requirements of our cities, regions and nations will not go unnoticed in business communities across the UK.
“While business communities would have liked Philip Hammond to go even further to support growth, they will recognise that his hands are somewhat tied by lower tax receipts and sharply higher borrowing forecasts. The fact that he chose to commit significant new resources to support growth and productivity demonstrates welcome flexibility during a period of uncertainty and change.
“There was very little support in our business communities for further cuts to Corporation Tax, so Philip Hammond was right to stick with existing plans. However, we would have liked to see more action on the high up-front taxes and costs of doing business in the UK, particularly business rates.
“The government's decision to move to a single annual set of tax and spending commitments will be welcomed by businesses weary of frequent and sometimes unclear changes of direction.”
Stewart Dunn of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce commented 'We welcome the balanced approach and the investment in to infrastructure and broadband. It is not clear however how many of these measures will directly benefit Hampshire. Many of our members will be concerned about the increases in Insurance premiums and further increases in the living wage on top of the long list of taxation measures from the last 12months. Similarly there could have been more to encourage first time exporters, skills funding and meaningful reductions to address the Business rates.'