Wednesday 19 March 2014
LCCI responds to Chancellor Osborne's Budget Statement
Commenting on today's Budget Statement, Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said: "The Chancellor has announced some positive changes that should reinforce the growth that London businesses have witnessed in recent months.
"LCCI has long called for more to be done to lower the barriers faced by firms wishing to export and the Government has rightly responded.
"The rising costs of aviation taxes have been an inhibitor to London firms wishing to trade overseas and the reform of Air Passenger Duty (APD), while long overdue, is warmly welcomed. London businesses rely on frequent direct air links to access high-growth emerging markets and a reduction in the levels of APD to emerging market destinations is a major boost for firms wishing to export, as well as making London a more competitive place to do business.
"LCCI also welcomes the doubling of financial support offered to potential exporters. London firms continue to experience difficulties obtaining finance from commercial sources and the Government is right to step in. To ensure firms access the help available, the Government must do all it can to advertise this service to the firms that need it most.
"The increased funding for the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (AGE) scheme is also good news, particularly for London's smaller businesses, and a change LCCI has actively been campaigning for. The Government has rightly acknowledged that taking on an apprentice can be costly and this grant offers a real incentive for prospective employers to hire a young person.
"Given the announcement that the Mersey Gateway Bridge project is to receive financial backing, LCCI is disappointed that the Chancellor failed to commit funding to a similar crossing in east London. East London is served by only two fixed road river crossings, whereas there are over 20 river crossings over the Thames to the west of Tower Bridge. If London is to support its ever-growing population, we need the transport infrastructure to match."
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
- Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.