'choked on delivering change' says Somerset business boss
Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce says the Chancellor
did not go far enough in delivering change to support the economy.
to Philip Hammonds Budget speech on Wednesday, Dale Edwards
said: "The 2017 Budget comes at a time of uncertainty, both
politically and economically, not just in the UK but throughout
the Chancellor, whilst attempting to inject humour into his speech
including the cough sweet gag, metaphorically choked on delivering
change to drive real economic growth."
fact that the OBR has downgraded productivity over the next few
years from 1.5% in 2017 to 1.3% in 2019 should have been the stimulus
for both significant capital and revenue investment throughout the
UK. However, the message came out loud and clear that the funding
will go to cities and those areas embracing devolution, at the expense
of areas like Somerset that are dominated by rurality and small
was pleasing that he had listened to Chambers across the country
regarding the much needed changes to business rates, but he still
has not been ambitious enough to look at a total reform of the system."
were welcome skirmishes in the side-lines, such as £20m for
further education in the implementation of T levels and £30m
on distance digital learning, but in the grand scheme of things
these are very minor."
big talking point was house building with a £44bn capital
and loans fund to stimulate new house building programmes, but when
there is a shortage of labour and skills it is a big ask. His crowd
pleaser was the scrapping of stamp duty for first time house buyers
for properties costing up to £300k. Like most things the devil
is in the detail on what is meant by a first time buyer' and
brings further complexity to the tax system."
the Chancellor could have done more to stimulate growth to provide
certainty for businesses across the UK, particularly considering
the borrowing amounts were reducing."