Richard Tunnicliffe, CBI East of England Director:
“This Budget succeeds strongly in protecting the economy now and kickstarting recovery. It leaves open the question of UK competitiveness long term.
“The Chancellor has gone above and beyond to protect UK businesses and people’s livelihoods through the crisis and get firms spending.
“Firms across the East of England will be relieved to receive support to finish the job and get through the coming months. The Budget also has a clear eye to the future; to ensure finances are sustainable, while building confidence and investment in a lasting recovery.
“Awarding freeport status to eight sites across the country – including Freeport East and the Thames region in the East of England – should bring benefits to local businesses and help boost wider regional economies, in addition to bolstering the UK’s global trading position. Firms look forward to working with local stakeholders to make a success of these initiatives and ensure they deliver economic gains for communities across the UK.
“The Chancellor has taken a welcome, broad view on how to stimulate growth from the new Infrastructure Bank, to Help to Grow and incentives to take on apprentices.
“The super deduction should be a real catalyst for firms to greenlight investment decisions. The boldness of the Chancellor on this measure is to be admired.
“But moving Corporation Tax to 25% in one leap will cause a sharp intake of breath for many East of England businesses and sends a worrying signal to those planning to invest in the UK.
“The government must now have a laser-like focus on the UK’s competitive position in the round, including fundamental reform of the unfair Business Rates system. The UK must remain attractive for every type of business, from innovative, high-growth UK homegrown firms to the global firms investing in the UK. We look forward to working with the government to achieve this.”