Commenting on the Chancellor’s Fiscal Statement, Shevaun Havilland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Businesses will welcome many of the measures announced today that should boost economic growth, relieve cost pressures and encourage investment.
“The announcement to reverse the increase to National Insurance Contributions (NIC) is a big win for the British Chambers of Commerce and the business community. This is much needed support for companies during these difficult times.
“Firms will also be glad to see the Annual Investment Allowance made permanent. It is a crucial tool which gives them the confidence to push ahead with investment, and will add greater certainty to their plans, now we know it is guaranteed to remain.
“Business wants to create the wealth that funds Government spending, and plans for Investment Zones, and steps to encourage new funding in our growth industries have the potential to do just that.
“Investment Zones could also finally deliver on the Government’s long-standing promise to level up, if the scheme is truly UK-wide. But lessons must be learned from the past, otherwise they can simply displace growth and investment from one area to another without creating new economic activity.
“This is a bold start, and we now await further detail on the further reforms the Treasury announced, to see if this will develop into a comprehensive long-term economic strategy.
“All eyes will also now turn to the forecasts by the Office of Budget Responsibility in the autumn for reassurance on public finances.”
On the repeal of IR35, she added:
“We welcome this decision. It will allow workers and business owners to have more flexibility, ease skills shortages and ultimately create a more flexible labour market.”
On VAT free shopping for overseas visitors, she said:
“This is a measure the BCC has been calling for. International inbound tourism is a vital part of the UK economy, supporting people and places, especially industries such as hospitality.”