Monday 17th June 2019
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Business welcome for Budget spending on transport

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The Budget was met a broadly positive reception from businesses in the region with a welcome for the £770 million roads investment package and extra spending for transport infrastructure in cities.

Nick Gomer, EY’s managing partner in the East of England, said: “This afternoon’s Budget was delivered exactly five months before the UK is due to exit the EU and focused on putting an end to austerity. Businesses across the East of England need real and focused investment if business growth is to be fostered and despite Brexit uncertainty, it’s critical that investment in infrastructure, innovation and enterprise are delivered to keep the region open for business and build on the foundation for future success.”

Good wins

Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore said: “Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has been campaigning via the British Chambers of Commerce’s Fix the Fundamentals initiative for the Chancellor to incentivise business investment and boost productivity. We certainly achieved some good wins, including an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance, a commitment to Entrepreneur’s Relief and a halving in the amount that smaller firms pay for taking on apprenticeships. Support for our smaller retailers via business rates relief and a one-third cut in their business rates is also very welcome.

“Suffolk Chamber was surprised, contrary to the pre-Budget messaging, that there was no explicit mention of additional funding for Highways England to upgrade our strategic roads network. We hope that there will be more clarity over the next day or so on this important issue for Suffolk and the UK as a whole - with the A14 clearly not fit for purpose.

“In addition, businesses and consumers alike will remain concerned at the continued anaemic growth figures forecast between now and 2023. More capital investment in our communications, rail and road infrastructure – building for growth in other words – is needed now more than ever.”

Welcome news

Steve Elsom, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “We spoke to local business leaders ahead of today’s Budget and a fifth told us they hoped the Chancellor would prioritise increased investment in transport infrastructure, making today’s announcement welcome news for many.”

“Countless businesses in the East of England are reliant on road transport links to access a skilled workforce and to reach new markets. Business leaders will hope that this investment in improving motorways and major roads will boost the region’s productivity and help fuel growth.

“The Chancellor also announced that he will increase the Annual Investment Allowance from £200,000 to £1 million for two years from 2019, in a move designed to stimulate business investment.

“The allowance, which was mentioned as the top priority by six per cent of firms in the East of England in our pre-Budget survey, could prove to be a significant windfall for small businesses locally.”

Oxbridge Arc

On the Oxford and Cambridge Arc, Mark Hyde, planning partner, Carter Jonas said: “The government’s response on the Arc is overwhelmingly positive and includes specific support for the ‘missing link’ in the proposed East-West Rail between Bedford and Cambridge where the former line has been largely lost to development. The proposal for a ‘ministerial champion’ is a significant elevation underscoring the importance of this project to the government.”

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 October 2018 11:05 )