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Spring Statement – Dorset Chamber comment

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “The Chancellor’s Spring Statement won’t have gone far enough for some businesses in Dorset.

“The five pence cut in fuel duty, while welcome, may be a drop in the ocean for hard-pressed firms in sectors most exposed to transport costs.

“Many businesses would have preferred to have seen the National Insurance rise scrapped completely rather than the threshold increased and the Employment Allowance for smaller businesses increased from £4,000 to £5,000.

“Confirmation of retail, hospitality and leisure business rate discounts will help ease the pain for some firms but it appears to be a case of ‘jam tomorrow’ when it comes to other measures.

“While proposed support due to be consulted upon under a new Tax Plan is very welcome, it does little to help immediately when inflation is rising to its highest level in 30 years and businesses remain in the grip of a costs crisis.

“Policies such as the scrapping of VAT on energy efficiency measures are generally welcome, while the proposed income tax reduction by 2024 appears a very long way off when householders are struggling to make ends meet today.

“While I appreciate that his hands were tied in many ways, the Chancellor could have been bolder. Businesses will no doubt be seeking to hold him to his word for support in the Autumn but will also expect intervention before then if the costs crisis deepens significantly further.”

Paul Appleby
Author: Paul Appleby