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Spring Statement 2018: Reactions

13th March 2018

As promised, Spring Statement 2018 focused on the economy and consultations. 

Here’s how businesses and industry groups have reacted to Philip Hammond’s speech.

Nod to late  payments popular with Federation of Small Businesses

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said:

“The chancellor is absolutely right to commit the government to eliminate the scourge of late payments, which place cruel financial pressure on more than eight out of ten small businesses.”

Business rate revaluation change welcomed

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry, said:

“The impact of the out-dated business rates system continues to be an Achilles’ heel for many businesses, so it’s absolutely right to fast forward revaluations.”

Cherry added:

“Business rates revaluations must be achieved without putting extra administrative burdens on small firms, such as self-assessments.”

A ‘missed opportunity’?

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said:

“While the refusal to treat the statement as a mini-Budget has many benefits, the climate of uncertainty requires some bold economic policy. 

“It was disappointing that Philip Hammond missed the opportunity to bring forward increases in the personal allowance and basic rate band, to pass on savings to stretched taxpayers.”

However  Dr Adam Marshall, general director of the British Chambers of Commerce, welcomed the lack of tax changes:

“Given that businesses across the UK have long complained about constant tinkering with tax rates, the Statement’s lack of tax and spending changes is welcome – and not before time. 

“A clear annual cycle will mean fewer rushed policies and give firms the time they need to plan for any changes that come their way.”

Apprentice levy issues not tackled

Marshall said: 

“While more funding to support small businesses seeking to employ apprentices is welcome, urgent action is needed to reform and improve the apprenticeship levy – which is currently failing both businesses and the people they want to train.

A full Spring Statement report is available on our website.