The Chancellor’s 2016 Budget announcements on business taxes, cider duty and flood defence improvements have been welcomed by the CEO of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, although he described the lack of reference to South West infrastructure improvements as ‘frustrating’.
Somerset Chamber Chief Executive, Dale Edwards, said, “With potential stormy waters ahead in the global marketplace, the Budget was something of a ‘steady as she goes’ approach, particularly with the OBR predicting downward growth rates of 2% this year, rising to 2.1% in 2017.
“Smaller businesses in the South West will welcome measures that will avoid higher taxes, or in a number of areas will reduce them – principally changes to business rate relief, commercial stamp duty and corporation tax, all of which the British Chambers of Commerce and Chamber network have been campaigning for.
“However, announcements in the Budget relating to new or improved infrastructure were concentrated in the North and South East of England, which is frustrating for the South West.
“On a brighter note, Somerset cider makers and distributers will be pleased that duty has been frozen, and it is hoped that some of the additional £700million revealed through an insurance premium taxation increase of 0.5% to fund improvements to flood defences will be spent in Somerset.”
The Somerset Chamber of Commerce represents and works collaboratively with the Somerset business community to encourage strong, sustainable and creative alliances that promote members’ businesses, raise the profile of the county, and help to lobby for greater influence for Somerset at all levels of government. For more information, visit www.somerset-chamber.co.uk