Business leaders 'underwhelmed' by Budget promises

Our region's chambers of commerce have responded to the latest budget news

Our region's chambers of commerce have responded to the latest budget news - Credit: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce/ Essex Chambers of Commerce/PA Wire/PA Images

Business leaders in the region have been left frustrated by Chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget. 

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses in the county, said that there had been little for Suffolk and East Anglia more generally to get excited about. 

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

Paul Simon said the budget was underwhleming - Credit: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

Paul Simon, head of policy and communications at the chamber, said : “Our initial response is that it’s an underwhelming Budget for our members and the wider county business community.

"Whilst welcoming short-term changes to specific elements of the Business Rates system, we are surprised that the Government seems to have rejected a full-scale review of that same system. We also remain very worried about the impact of inflation averaging 4% throughout 2022 as that looks increasingly as if price increases are being locked in.”

Andy Walker, head of policy and public affairs, said: “The Chancellor made many geographical references as to how his spending might benefit specific areas. There was little mention of the East of England and nothing at all about Suffolk.

"We hope that there might be something for us, not least in terms of infrastructure upgrades, and so we will be examining the details as they are released., not least regarding rail investment at Haughley Junction.”

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce Picture: DAVID BURCH

Denise Rossiter said the chamber needed more details - Credit: Essex Chambers of Commerce

Over the border, Essex Chambers’ chief executive, Denise Rossiter said: ”As with every Budget there are things that we welcome but also much that we would like more detail on.

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"The changes to taxation with reductions for air passenger duty for domestic flights, the continued freezing of fuel duty, simplification of drinks duties and the proposed reforms to the tonnage tax for merchant shipping are all things that are welcome.

“We are disappointed though that he appears to have moved away from reforming business rates which our members tell us are still one of the biggest barriers to they face. The changes to revaluation periods are of course welcome as are the proposed investment reliefs to encourage the adoption of green technologies along with the proposed business rates relief for property improvements.

“As will every Budget the devil is the in the detail and we will be interested to see what emerges from Government departments in the coming weeks”

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