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What does the Spring budget mean for economic growth in Essex ?

09 Mar What does the Spring budget mean for economic growth in Essex ?

Cllr David Finch the Leader of Essex County Council welcomed yesterdays Spring Budget which has pledged more funding for adult social care and new measures which will boost the county’s economy.

Cllr Finch said Chancellor Philip Hammond’s £2 billion funding boost for adult social care over three years – £1 billion coming in 2017/18 – will help address Essex’s social care shortfall. But, more importantly, the announcement of a Social Care Green Paper could lead to the whole-system reform the Council has been calling for.

He said:

“We’ve lobbied hard for social care reform over the years, so it’s heartening that the Government has listened and has committed to a Green Paper.

“This will allow councils and the NHS to plan for the long-term and shift the focus of our spending to preventative measures, which will reduce the need for long term care and ensure we are equipped to look after our most vulnerable people.

“However, we need innovations like the social care ISA which we have championed to be part of the solution going forward.

“Essex businesses will benefit from the measures to soften the burden of rate reform for small businesses and extra help for our pubs, which are the lifeblood of so many communities.

“Our share of an extra £16 million for 5G and £500 million for Superfast broadband will boost connectivity in the county and help realise our ambition to become a digital leader and drive prosperity, building on our already successful work to enable residents and businesses to access high-speed broadband.

“The proposed new T levels, sitting alongside A levels, will help us to ensure our school leavers have the skills our businesses need to thrive. All of this will help Essex attract, retain and grow the businesses that will help the county become the fastest growing economy outside of London.”

Other key stats on business delivered in the budget were:

  • £435m for firms affected by increases in business rates, including £300m hardship fund for worst hit
  • Pubs with rateable value of less than £100,000 to get a one-year £1,000 discount on rates they would have paid
  • Rate rises for businesses losing existing relief will be capped at £50 a month
  • A £820m tax avoidance clampdown, including action to stop businesses converting capital losses into trading losses and introduction of UK VAT on roaming telecoms services outside the EU
  • Privately-owned SMEs to get extra year to prepare for tax digitisation and quarterly reporting