West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce responds to Budget
Against a backdrop of slowing global trade and UK growth downgraded to 2% for 2016, George Osborne had few levers to pull, however in keeping with the Chamber’s requests for commitment to no new taxes on businesses and entrepreneurs he delivered and in some cases exceeded.
We welcome the Chancellor’s actions to reduce business rates for smaller businesses. The Chamber did call for this innocuous tax to be reviewed and we are pleased that he has taken real action to lessen the crushing burden of business rates which are applied before companies even make a profit.
Announcements on infrastructure, specifically HS3 and M62 improvements, whilst expected and welcome do not go far enough in our opinion especially in light of the commitment to Crossrail 2 funding. We would like to have seen more commitment to greater funding for this vital element of the Northern Powerhouse, indeed anyone who has seen the impact that station investment has had on Kings Cross and its immediate environs will understand just how powerful infrastructure investment can be on places. That said having made these announcements we must ensure that they move from the drawing board to speedy construction on the ground as quickly as possible.
The Chamber wrote to the Chancellor in January setting out our concerns over flooding in this region and while we are yet to see the details it was pleasing to hear commitment to fund alleviation measures on our patch.
In announcing devolution settlements for East Anglia, West of England and Greater Lincolnshire, it was disappointing to hear there is still no agreement for West & North Yorkshire. With the right powers and funding, West & North Yorkshire could be making an even more significant contribution to increasing UK economic output. We call upon our region’s politicians to reach a deal as quickly as possible in order to give certainty to businesses that we will not be disadvantaged as devolved powers are handed down to other parts of England.
The following documents are available for your information.
Table breakdown, based on categories (rates, tax, skills etc – 3 pages)
British Chambers of Commerce reaction (2 pages)
Economic Summary (GDP forecasts etc – 1 page)