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Black Country Chamber responds to the Autumn Statement - Focus on productivity is right

Corin Crane

Following the delivery of the first Autumn Statement of the newly formed Conservative Government from Philip Hammond MP, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce responded to the main areas.

Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, added: “We held a really constructive Autumn Statement Event today at Wolverhampton Grammar School, that was well attended by businesses and the overall response to the Statement from Philip Hammond was positive.

“The UK can enjoy steady growth over the next few years, which is great news. If we are really going to transform the Black Country economy, then the focus on productivity is the right one. We also welcome further investment in infrastructure, business rate relief, and importantly research & development and innovation. For the Small and Medium Enterprises in the Black Country, it is essential that the money announced today in the Autumn Statement goes directly to them to support their growth, but time will tell.

“It is incredibly disappointing that there was not a better commitment to the hard work businesses are putting in to Midlands Engine. Further details of projects to be announced will hopefully address this, however as it stands the lack of detail and mentions was conspicuous in its absence.”

Giving his initial reaction to the Autumn Statement, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Philip Hammond has delivered a responsible, solid and focused package that will reassure both business and markets.

“While business communities would have liked Philip Hammond to go even further to support growth, they will recognise that his hands are somewhat tied by lower tax receipts and sharply higher borrowing forecasts. The fact that he chose to commit significant new resources to support growth and productivity demonstrates welcome flexibility during a period of uncertainty and change.

“There was very little support in our business communities for further cuts to Corporation Tax, so Philip Hammond was right to stick with existing plans. However, we would have liked to see more action on the high up-front taxes and costs of doing business in the UK, particularly business rates.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 17:54

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