Commenting on the first details of the Chancellor’s Growth Plan, Shevaun Havilland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Businesses across the UK will enthusiastically welcome the Chancellor’s pledge to focus on economic growth and speed up new infrastructure development.
“The Chamber Network is a great believer in giving firms the tools and support they need to create the wealth that funds Government tax revenues.
“It is also good news to hear the Chancellor has woken up to the need to take action on our creaking planning system. But we need to see this reform across the country, as it is currently too slow, complex and uncertain. It stifles business investment, expansion and growth.
“Inevitably, the devil will be in the detail of these proposals, and they must strike the right balance between reform and providing for a sustainable future.
“The introduction of Investment Zones also has the potential to finally deliver on the Government’s long-standing promise to level up, if the scheme is truly UK-wide.
“Lessons also need to be learned from the past, it will be crucial to get these zones right from the start, otherwise they can simply displace growth and investment from one area to another without creating new economic activity.
“But this is a bold start, and the Chancellor must now use this as a springboard to develop a comprehensive long-term economic strategy.”