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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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London Chamber reacts to Autumn statement

Thursday 17 November 2022

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

“After a tumultuous two years and an unstable political climate in the UK, the Chancellor desperately needed to undo the damage done by his predecessor, fill the ‘black hole’ in our economy and prove that the UK is economically competent and credible.

“While we appreciate that working towards financial stability means accepting that some of the burden will be on British businesses, we don’t feel that businesses, particularly those in London and SMEs, will be adequately supported through this winter. Although the business rates support scheme will help, we are disappointed that the Chancellor did not go further to amend the business rates scheme which feels outdated. Equally, his failure to outline a clear plan for the continuation of the Energy Price Guarantee for businesses post April 2023 leaves businesses on a cliff-edge, unable to prioritise growth over survival.

“On infrastructure, it is reassuring that Government has not lost sight of the importance of long-term funding for infrastructure projects including HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. However, we are extremely disappointed that the Autumn Statement did not set out a long term funding solution for TfL to ensure that London is not held back by an under-supported transport system. London is a global city reliant on its public transport network like no other in the UK and it underpins businesses in the capital and their growth.

“The Chancellor’s commitment to protecting the UK’s R&D spending is important for ensuring the UK retains its global attractiveness for investment, but we urge him to reconsider the reforms to R&D tax reliefs for SMEs which seek to undermine these businesses and will discourage their growth.

“The London Chamber has maintained that business growth is dependent on skills and we are glad that the Government is moving in the right direction and has appointed Sir Michael Barber as an advisor. We hope that the Department for Education and Sir Michael realise the importance of consultation with businesses to deliver on the UK’s skills ambitions.

“Three quarters of London businesses are less confident about the UK economy than they were last year, and while we recognise that the Chancellor has delivered a balanced statement, we know that this won’t immediately improve these statistics.”


London Chamber reacts to Autumn statement

The Chancellor's Autumn statement does little more than undo the damage of his predecessor