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East Midlands Chamber News

Call for final pre-Brexit Budget to include radical measures to boost business investment


Chambers of Commerce are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to focus his Budget later this month on radical measures to boost business investment, productivity and competitiveness ahead of Brexit.


They are warning that failing to address fundamental issues in what could be his final pre-Brexit Budget could leave British firms foundering in the wake of the UK leaving the EU.


East Midlands Chamber* agrees that any exit deal agreed with the EU could be of only minimal value to UK businesses if they are not given the right incentives for growth.


The Chamber has therefore added its support to demands from the British Chambers of Commerce that Chancellor Philip Hammond should address in his Budget, which starts at 3.30pm on Monday 29 October.


They include:

  1. Offering an exceptional ‘Brexit Investment Incentive’  with the Annual Investment Allowance boosted to £1m to ‘crowd in’ both domestic and international investment and stem weakening business investment
  2. Introducing a Business Rates Investment Incentive to ease the drag effect of this uniquely iniquitous business tax on investment by providing a 12-month delay before rates are increased when an existing property is expanded or improved and before rates apply to a new build property
  3. Committing to no new taxes or costs on businesses for the remainder of this Parliament to give businesses headroom to adjust to Brexit and to invest, recruit and grow
  4. Delivering UK-wide reform to the apprenticeship levy and drop SME co-funding for apprenticeships in England to help ease the UK’s chronic skills shortage
  5. Abandoning the uprating of business rates for the next two financial years for all businesses on the high street in town and city centres - to ease the financial burden on struggling businesses as they go through significant structural changes
  6. Delaying the rollout of Making Tax Digital for all businesses by one year to provide HMRC and businesses headroom to prepare for this major change to the way tax is collected
  7. Providing funding to achieve full mobile coverage along transport corridors, a crucial step to improving digital connectivity and productivity for businesses that need to communicate with new and existing customers, suppliers and employees.


“If these targeted, affordable measures are delivered they would drive greater investment in people, property, infrastructure and capital, lifting both UK growth and productivity. It would go some way to showing the world that the UK will not just remain open for business after Brexit but also means business,” said Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber.