Commenting on the Spring Statement, delivered today (Tuesday) by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Monk, Commercial Director of Business West said:
“While, of course, we welcome Mr Hammond’s assertion that he will go on “supporting British businesses”, actions must speak louder than words.
“In terms of specifics, an £80m pledge to help small firms take on apprentices and the opening up of the construction skills fund will help to ease recruitment woes for some firms, whereas details on the £1.7bn city region infrastructure fund got a brief public airing. Here is where the concrete detail ebbs away and the disconnect between actions and words begins to creep in.
“Unsurprisingly, no more was this rhetoric-reality gap in evidence than on the topic of Brexit. Mr Hammond said that “substantial progress” has been made in the Brexit talks, but we know from working with businesses on the ground that tangible progress hasn’t materialised yet, what with a transition deal still to be secured.
“Potentially more bad news for business is the announcement that the business rates valuation will be brought forward to 2021. There were more losers than winners the last time around and government would be wise not to repeat it. We need to see the appeals process working for the last round before we focus on the next.”