DCCI chief executive Ian Girling has given his reaction to the Autumn Statement today.
He said: “It was encouraging to hear the Chancellor back business in his first major financial statement.
“Many DCCI members will share his vision for a bold nation, confident in its strength and determined in its outlook to be open for business.
“The investment in roads, local transport, world class digital infrastructure, innovation, research and development are all to be welcomed and we will be very keen to see the details of how Dorset will benefit.
“Equally it was positive to hear of £1.8bn coming from the Local Growth Fund for the English regions, and we will want to hear just how Dorset will fare.
“We were also pleased to see investment in housing and associated infrastructure given that affordable housing is showing itself as a serious barrier to growth for Dorset businesses.
“Some DCCI members will be also be encouraged by the Chancellor’s announcement to increase rural rate relief, double the UK’s export funding capacity, unlock £1bn of finance for growing firms and address productivity levels.
“A freeze on fuel duty will support business and, along with a rise in the income tax threshold, help keep more money in people’s pockets.
“Some businesses may be less enthusiastic about the National Living Wage increase from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour next April or the increase in National Insurance thresholds.
“Revised growth figures of 2.1% for 2016, 1.4% in 2017 and then 1.7% in 2018 were not unexpected. Although also not unexpected, the scale of increased Government borrowing also caught the eye.”
He added: “Amid the uncertainty created by Brexit, the Chancellor has given some positive guidance with a solid and focused Autumn Statement to give business more confidence about the way forward.
“It is particularly important that we get the economy in a good shape ready for exit from the EU.
“Many of the measures announced will be welcomed in Dorset and DCCI will be doing its utmost to work with partners to ensure the county gets its fair share of funding and seizes the opportunities offered.”
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