Spring Statement offers 'balance', says Hampshire Chamber

Ross McNally, Hampshire Chamber Executive Chairman
Ross McNally, Hampshire Chamber Executive Chairman

Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement on 13 March, 2018, Ross McNally, Executive Chair of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said:

“This was never going to be a day of major fiscal announcements but the Chancellor did signal support for new investment in productivity, skills and infrastructure which we welcome.

“We will join chambers across the country to ensure these remain among the priorities when it comes to the autumn Budget.
“His focus on enterprise will give confidence to businesses as will his balanced approach to spending and saving against the current backdrop of slightly faster growth, falling national debt and lower borrowing.

“He still needs to do more on business rates, an iniquitous tax that takes no account of profits or ability to pay. Bringing forward the next revaluation by a year helps a little bit but we still seek structural reform to make the system fairer.
“The Chancellor indicated support for small firms keen to employ apprentices but the complexity and rigidity of the apprenticeship levy is affecting larger businesses and needs to be addressed.
“We are pleased that he is looking to use the government’s convening power to tackle the issue of late payments which can cause huge problems for small businesses and suppliers.”
“Overall, this was a fairly well balanced Spring Statement that showed Philip Hammond has been listening to business and which contains useful pointers to Budget priorities.”

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