Commenting on the Chancellor’s spring statement Phil Smith, Managing Director at Business West said:
“Like nearly all current government business, the Chancellor’s focus and forecasts were dominated by the shadow of Brexit.
“For many businesses, this is a cause of great frustration – as pressing domestic problems go unaddressed whilst political infighting sucks out the oxygen that could be being used to kindle greater growth, job creation and in tackling our underperforming infrastructure, transport, housing and skills systems.
“Hammond used his statement to argue against no-deal, stating that there would be a Brexit dividend in terms of public spending if no-deal is taken off the table. A boost in business confidence and a faster growing economy could follow. He clearly stated that No Deal risked a “relatively smaller economy …. [and the] pain of a restructure”.
“As the Chancellor’s downgraded growth forecasts for 2019 make clear, Brexit is causing a decline in private sector investment and risks a loss of wider confidence in the UK economy. With little in the way of new measures for businesses to get excited about, the spring statement was in many respects a palate cleanser before the meaningful Brexit votes of Wednesday and Thursday evening.
“Hammond finished his speech asking MPs to put an end to the no-deal uncertainty – a sentiment businesses in the region will no doubt echo. It is up to MPs to now listen to the Chancellor’s plea and start focus on the long term economic needs of companies in the region.”