Andrew Lindsay, chairman of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber said:
“The Chancellor’s summer budget is broadly welcomed by the Chamber. Certainty over the now permanent Annual Investment Allowance, further Corporation Tax reductions and lower National Insurance for small businesses will help company owners to retain more of their profits to invest in jobs and growth. With regards to the introduction of a National Living Wage, most Chamber member companies already pay their staff at or above this level, however they will want assurances that its introduction follows an evidence-based approach, and minimizes impacts on smaller firms, for whom adjustment will be harder.
“It is pleasing that the Chancellor recognizes the importance of vocational skills alongside academic skills and the commitment to 3 million extra apprentices is welcome. The Chancellor once again stated his commitment to put control of funding in the hands of employers, although we would urge a degree of caution that burdensome bureaucracy does not dissuade smaller businesses from investing in their future workforce.
“Of relevance to this region was the announcement of funding for Transport for the North to promote integrated transport although devolution got only the briefest of mentions with confirmation that discussions were still under way. The West & North Yorkshire Chamber is broadly supportive of the principal of devolving funding and powers to the region, although the devil is in the detail and we are keen to understand what is “on the table” and to ensure the business voice is heard in these discussions.
Overall the Chancellor sent out a strong message that Britain is open for business, but businesses will want to see quick and positive action on the “un-pausing” of rail investment if we are to build on the ambitions to be a Northern Powerhouse.”