Autumn Statement: Chamber Reaction

Autumn Statement – 23 Nov 2016

Reaction of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Stephen Wright, Chairman, said:

“There are some very welcome measures announced in today’s Autumn Statement.  Given the current backdrop of uncertainty and change underway in the world, the package announced by Philip Hammond should offer some reassurance.

“The measures on transport and infrastructure, and for local regions, are welcomed.  A commitment to continue with the Northern Powerhouse agenda is also applauded.  It’s good news that a series of measures have now been drawn together in the publication of a Northern Powerhouse strategy alongside today’s Statement.  We look forward to working with other stakeholders on delivering on the strategy.

“Investment in the digital infrastructure and support for our rural communities also ensures that new and historical areas of our economy are being backed for future growth and prosperity.   Business confidence is crucial right now – we may be facing unchartered territory and so reassurance and certainty is important for business right now.  However, our members are determined, positive and confident in their abilities to deliver quality goods and services, and therefore contribute to future economic growth and development, despite what may happen elsewhere.

A steady hand is needed in the Treasury and the rest of government just now and so increased resources for transport, housing, broadband and innovation will help business and markets.”

British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall added:

“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.”

Full British Chambers of Commerce reaction here

A summary of what the Autumn Statement means for your business can be found here.