Suffolk Chamber of Commerce response to the Spring Budget 2017
John Dugmore, chief executive, Suffolk Chamber:
“Our immediate reaction is that this is quite a disappointing budget for the business community of Suffolk. Raising NICs for the self-employed and reducing the tax-free dividend from £5k to £2k are below-the-belt blows for our entrepreneurs.
“In terms of business rates, the £300m made available to soften rises is welcome, but we need councils to be responsive and at the top of their game in using their discretion, otherwise the local impact will be minimal. Equally, it was good to hear the Chancellor acknowledging that there is scope to reform the revaluation system. The lack of a timetable and any detail is, however, frustrating as we need answers and direction now.
“The £690m fund announced to tackle urban road congestion sounds useful, but we need to understand the mechanism for how it will be allocated. We need now to continue to work with our public sector partners to ensure that Suffolk’s major towns are at the head of the national queue.”
“Finally, we welcome the commitments in the Budget to technical education, digital connectivity, easier R&D tax credits and a one-year delay to digital tax reporting for the very smallest firms.”