Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire left wanting more from Chancellor's budget - The Rugby Observer

Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire left wanting more from Chancellor's budget

Rugby Editorial 6th Mar, 2024 Updated: 6th Mar, 2024   0

A ‘MUTED’ reaction from business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire greeted today’s (Wednesday March 6) budget.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce – which held a budget meeting with businesses from the region – said there was ‘very little’ for companies.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reduced employee National Insurance, froze duty on fuel, and changed childcare support to encourage more people back to work.

Corin Crane, chief executive of the Chamber, said: “We all wanted to see a budget that would support that growth and I’m not sure that’s what we have been given.

“The feeling in the room was that there could have been more for businesses. The cut in National Insurance will provide a boost to staff who are still feeling the effects of the cost of living crisis, but that wasn’t matched by the same kind of help for companies.

“There was very little for our manufacturers and construction businesses, who are still feeling the pinch from the rising costs that they faced over recent years. It was a similar story for hospitality.”

There was interest in announcements on £5million funding for culture in Coventry to support the legacy of City of Culture, and devolved powers going to Warwickshire – the latter of which Mr Crane said could help to level the playing field over the likes of adult education.

He added: “As with every budget and fiscal event, it is often the case that we learn more when the detail emerges but I think it is fair to say that the initial reaction from businesses was fairly muted.

“The economy slipped into technical recession at the end of 2023 and, while that isn’t anticipated to last very long, more is going to be needed to build sustainable economic growth.”

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