Reacting to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Denise Rossiter, CEO of Essex Chambers of Commerce said:
“The Chancellor has stayed true to his word in focusing on restoring stability to the economy, protecting our public services and building long-term prosperity for the United Kingdom. But in the midst of a recession, this statement will not increase business confidence.
“Businesses will look at today’s announcements and welcome the support with business rates, and retention of the employment allowance, but the reduction in the dividend allowance will impact many of our smaller firms.
“Across the Chamber network, almost half of businesses have reported that they will find it difficult to pay their energy bills once the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme ends on 31 March 2023. The sooner we get clarity on where future support will be targeted the better.
“The plans to improve energy efficiency across the economy are welcomed, but we need to see greater urgency as firms battle with their bills in the here and now.
“The Chancellor’s Statement is a small step in the right direction to increase the economy but doesn’t address the current labour shortages and has nothing to help boost export led-growth.
“It is good news for the region that, after much speculation, the Sizewell C new nuclear plant will proceed. We are relieved to hear that HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail have not been cut further as these projects will provide a major boost to regional economies as well as improving our national infrastructure.
“The Government must do more to improve conditions for businesses to invest and grow, otherwise we will be starting from a weak base to power our recovery once the current global economic conditions stabilise.”
CEO, Essex Chambers of Commerce