'Mini-budget' welcome boost to firms but long-term plan needed, say region's business leaders - The Rugby Observer

'Mini-budget' welcome boost to firms but long-term plan needed, say region's business leaders

A BUSINESS organisation in Coventry and Warwickshire believes the Chancellor’s ‘mini-budget’ will be a welcome boost to firms in the region – but they will still want to see a long-term plan.

Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the support announced on energy bills earlier in the week coupled with today’s fiscal statement – which included the reversal of National Insurance and corporation tax rises as well as the Annual Investment Allowance remaining at £1million – would come as a big relief.

He said businesses were still facing an incredibly tough autumn and winter but hoped the Chancellor’s announcements would help them through.

Mr Crane added that he would work with partners in the region to secure one of the Investment Zones, also announced in the fiscal statement.

He said: “I’ve spoken to so many businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire since I started in this role a couple of months ago and there was a huge amount of fear as we were approaching this autumn with prices and inflation spiralling.

“We have been calling for support on energy prices and for the Government to cancel the National Insurance rises so we are very pleased that they have listened. This will be a big relief.

“Investment Zones will only have a positive impact for businesses in this region if we manage to secure one for the patch so I was pleased to see the Gigafactory at Coventry Airport included in the documentation as being under consideration. We need to turn that into a reality and I’ll be working with other stakeholders in the region to help make that happen.

“Overall, this mini-budget does provide a boost for business but the Government must now develop this into a long-term plan for growth if they are to satisfy the aim of achieving the 2.5 per cent growth target.”

Shevaun Havilland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said many of the measures announced today should boost economic growth, relieve cost pressures and encourage investment.

He said: ““The announcement to reverse the increase to National Insurance Contributions (NIC) is a big win for the British Chambers of Commerce and the business community. This is much needed support for companies during these difficult times.

“Firms will also be glad to see the Annual Investment Allowance made permanent. It is a crucial tool which gives them the confidence to push ahead with investment, and will add greater certainty to their plans, now we know it is guaranteed to remain.

“Business wants to create the wealth that funds Government spending, and plans for Investment Zones, and steps to encourage new funding in our growth industries have the potential to do just that.

“Investment Zones could also finally deliver on the Government’s long-standing promise to level up, if the scheme is truly UK-wide. But lessons must be learned from the past, otherwise they can simply displace growth and investment from one area to another without creating new economic activity.

“This is a bold start, and we now await further detail on the further reforms the Treasury announced, to see if this will develop into a comprehensive long-term economic strategy.

“All eyes will also now turn to the forecasts by the Office of Budget Responsibility in the autumn for reassurance on public finances.”


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