Derbyshire businesses respond to chancellor's statement

The Chancellor, George Osborne gave his Autumn Statement to parliament today.
The Chancellor, George Osborne gave his Autumn Statement to parliament today.

Derbyshire's chamber of commerce has responded to the Chancellor, George Osborne's Autumn Statement and spending review today.

Reacting to the Chancellor’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement today, Director of Policy of the East Midlands Chamber, Chris Hobson, said: "This was largely a positive Autumn Statement which included a number of sensible measures that many local businesses will welcome.

“Upgraded growth predictions gave the Chancellor more room to manoeuvre than he'd had previously, which enabled him to deliver a Spending Review that will provide reassurance to businesses and consumers alike.

"Businesses will welcome the long-term focus on infrastructure, particularly when it comes to building the houses and upgrading the road networks which are so badly in need of repair, but it was frustrating that we still have no further clarity on the route or delivery time frame for the Eastern Leg of HS2. However it is encouraging to see that funding has been allocated to develop a strategy for the proposed hub station at Toton.

"Significant enhancements to the science, capital investment and low carbon budgets will help the many hi-tech businesses, for which the East Midlands is renowned, continue to innovate and drive advancements in technology.

"The one big disappointment was the lack of acknowledgement for the Midlands Engine for Growth and the role it will play in complementing the Northern Powerhouse to re-balance the economy away from London and the south.

"The challenge for Government now is to ensure it can translate this rhetoric into reality, to deliver the improvements to housing, energy, infrastructure, skills and productivity and provide the certainty required by business to enable it to deliver the balanced and sustainable growth the country needs to remain globally competitive."

Osborne's U-turn on tax credits, which he has now vowed to abandon entirely after context in the House of Lords, has been both hailed and described as a selling point for his welfare reform, which will still see £12bn of cuts and tax credits phased out by 2018 as Universal Credit comes in.

Also in parliament today he outlined plans to hand billions to private property developers to build 400,000 new homes in England, increased education funding increases in stamp duty for landlords and second homes, more cash for apprenticeships, a rise in the state pension to £119.30 a week and money for the electrification of TransPennine, Midland Mainline and Great Western railways.

The NHS is to see £22bn in efficiency savings in England and funds to drive a crackdown in tax avoidance.

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