Hampshire Chamber welcomes business rates change but calls for more to be done
22 November 2017
“Thanks to pressure from chambers of commerce, the Chancellor has taken some positive steps to lessen the impact of business rates, an iniquitous tax that takes no account of profitability or ability to pay. By linking valuations more closely to the typically lower consumer prices index rather than the retail index, many businesses will see reductions in their bills from next April. It’s only a start however – in most cases the amounts will be small and the overall business rate system remains fundamentally flawed and in dire need of deeper reform.
“On VAT, we are pleased that he resisted the temptation to lower the threshold at which businesses must register. That will be a welcome relief for many start-ups and small businesses among our membership.
“Despite not mentioning us in his round up of regional initiatives, it is promising news for Hampshire that he has made more money available for road, public transport and other infrastructure projects. The £31 billion extra he announced for the National Productivity Investment Fund will be competed for across the country so we must argue our case effectively if we are to benefit from a slice of that cake.
“We welcome his focus on housebuilding for overall economic growth and, in particular, job creation among our local construction firms and their supply chains.
“The Chancellor also did his bit to remove some of the current uncertainty for exporters by announcing a further £3 billion to support Brexit implementation.
“With its themes of productivity, skills, infrastructure and the digital economy, this was a fairly well balanced Budget that showed Philip Hammond has been listening to business.”