Chamber Head of Policy, Steven Leigh, comments on the Budget announced on Wednesday 18th March.
Commenting on Budget 2015, delivered on Wednesday 18th March by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Steve Leigh Head of Policy at Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said:
"We welcome the focus which the Chancellor has given to economic growth and prosperity, and his ambition that the UK should become the G7’s richest country. A number of the measures we have long-campaigned for, particularly the issues of Business Rates and Employer NI contributions, have been addressed to some measure. We are pleased to see that there is at last to be a review and overhaul of Business Rates, a tax which is becoming progressively less appropriate to small businesses and to the British high street as on-line commerce expands. We also welcomed the abolition of National Insurance contributions for businesses employing under 21’s, and for businesses employing under 25 year old apprentices – although unfortunately the latter has been deferred until 2016 when it could have been introduced immediately. It was also pleasing to note the Chancellors announcement of a new Voucher System to help fund apprenticeships – and it is hoped that this will promote apprenticeships towards even-higher standards. We have also lobbied hard for additional help for exporters, and the additional funding for UKTI to promote business in China is welcome – but we would have rather seen extra provision for UKTI to promote exports to the many other emerging markets in addition to China.
We also note that there is a renewed commitment to the roll-out of high-speed Broadband because this is absolutely essential to all businesses seeking to compete on equal terms with international competitors in global markets."
"Alongside the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) we have been supportive of an extension to enhanced Annual Investment Allowances, and we will continue to push for this to be maintained at £500,000 between now and the Autumn Statement, when the Government’ finalised plans will be revealed. Another notable development for businesses in our region was the announcement of a new devolution deal, and funding, for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority providing additional powers over Transport, Business Support and Skills - and whilst more could be done this is an encouraging start to a developing process which over the long-term will bring additional prosperity to our region. The variety of other measures which have been announced, including support for small companies, research grants, support to the oil and gas sector, and to energy-intensive industries are all going to help promote business confidence –which is the key to business investment, new jobs and greater prosperity."
To view the full reaction from the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) to the budget please click here