08 Mar Essex Chambers of Commerce reaction to the spring Budget
The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has delivered the spring budget. With a growth forecast of 2% growth for 2017, up from 1.4% and 2bn for social care. Essex Chambers of Commerce weighed in on the budget.
David Burch, Director of Policy, at Essex Chambers of Commerce said “we had been expecting minimal change in the Chancellor’s announcements and this proved to be the case. We welcome the short term support for businesses hardest hit by business rates increases but were disappointed that the Chancellor appeared to rule out a proper review of the existing system to look at developing a tax that is fit for the 21stcentury and fair to businesses. Currently 55% of business rates collected in Essex going back to HM Treasury and we want to see that figure not only reduced but used for the benefit of those businesses paying them”
“The commitments to improving and simplifying technical qualifications are also very welcome along with easier R&D tax credits and a one-year delay to digital tax reporting for very small businesses. It was also pleasing to hear further commitments to improving digital connectivity across the country, something that is very important for a rural county like Essex”.
“On a more general note we would like to have seen a greater recognition by the Government of the continuing need to invest in our infrastructure in not just the midlands and the north but also in the south and east of the country. We are currently net contributors to the Treasury but that could easily be lost without investment to help boost productivity”
“Whilst we understand the need to try and create a fair tax system hikes to dividend taxes and national insurance for the self-employed will be viewed far less positively by existing and budding entrepreneurs”.
“Short-term support for firms hardest-hit by business rates rises will be welcomed, along with commitments to technical education, digital connectivity, easier R&D tax credits, and a one-year delay to digital tax reporting for the very smallest firms. Conversely, hikes to dividend taxes and national insurance for the self-employed will be viewed far less positively by entrepreneurs.