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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber Reacts to Spending Review

DNCC Chief Executive George CowcherGeorge Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Local businesses will have a mixed reaction to today’s Spending Review.

“There were some measures which are welcome, with investment in important areas like transport, export support, science, apprenticeships, education, innovation and defence procurement.

“Overall, though, it did not go far enough in delivering the radical shift in spending priorities towards the capital investment needed to underpin economic stability, job creation, exports and growth we would have all liked to have seen.

“The Chancellor said one of his three guiding principles for the Spending Review this year was growth, yet there was little contained in his speech to back up that aspiration.

“The £2bn-a-year allocation of new single pot funding for distribution by Local Enterprise Partnerships – which could make a real difference in stimulating activity which leads to genuine economic production at a local level – falls woefully short of the amount called for by Lord Heseltine in his growth review, No Stone Unturned, and will leave many businesses underwhelmed.

“Businesses will welcome the planned £50bn investment in the UK’s road network – part of a larger £300bn package dubbed the largest investment in our roads for half a century – as having a first-class transport infrastructure is absolutely crucial to ensuring the UK can compete on a global scale.

“That said, it should be kept in mind that maintaining our existing networks is a priority which should not be neglected. We await the detail tomorrow about the regions and schemes which will benefit most from this huge cash injection.

“With further fallout from the public sector expected in the short-to-medium term, private sector businesses will be under even more pressure to create the jobs to absorb these losses, but they need more support in order to do so.

“The economy is starting to show some positive signs of recovery and returning business confidence. It’s absolutely vital that Government harnesses this progress by shifting its spending priorities towards productive programmes which underpin a truly enterprise-friendly environment."

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