Business leaders from across Milton Keynes say there was ‘much left to be desired’ in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.
There had been calls for the Chancellor to take decisive action to help tackle the escalating cost of business, backing the British Chambers of Commerce’s (BCC) five-point plan to support firms through soaring energy bills, supply chain issues, and the cost-of-living crisis.
That included pleas for a delay to the impending 1.25 per cent National Insurance rise by one year to give firms much-needed financial headroom, a temporary energy price cap for small businesses, and additional financial support.
While there was no U-turn on the National Insurance rise, The Chancellor announced the threshold will rise for individuals by £3,000, while a fuel duty cut of 5p per litre until next March has also been introduced to combat supply issues arising from the invasion of Ukraine.
But businesses questioned whether enough had been done to tackle rising inflation and support industry through looming challenges.
Sean Rose Policy Executive Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce “I do not think we should be surprised that it was not a budget for businesses. In fact there is much left to be desired as businesses face increased costs left, right and centre.
“Faced with a once in a generation cost of living crisis, businesses up and down the country were hoping the Chancellor would act decisively and tackle deep seated issues, such as rampant inflation, sky-high energy bills and stagnant investment.”
“Additional support for households struggling with energy bills is welcomed, but there was no equivalent scheme for businesses that would have greatly benefited from an energy price cap and additional grant funding.”
“We also need to understand more about his tax plan. We still have not got much understanding on his concept of a Levelling Up agenda to see where we would stand in comparison to say Manchester or further north. But we will continue lobbying on behalf of our members.”