December 3 2014.

Commenting on the Autumn Statement, delivered today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: 

“The Chancellor has used the last Autumn Statement before the election to demonstrate that he is listening to and supporting British businesses across the entire country. By focusing on key business priorities, such as Britain’s broken business rates system and the difficulty of accessing finance for growth, the Chancellor has demonstrated that he is committed to solving problems that hinder the growth aspirations of many firms.

“Businesses will be pleased that the Chancellor has committed the government to a fundamental review of business rates. This iniquitous tax is sapping good companies' strength year after year, long before they make a single penny in profits. The review must deliver fundamental change to the business rates system. Tinkering at the edges is simply not acceptable when good companies have to scale back their growth ambitions because of out of control rates bills.

“The government has listened to our calls to improve conditions for business growth. However, the government must ensure that the positive proposals announced in the Autumn Statement do not get bogged down by short-term political thinking, Whitehall bureaucracy and trickle in the banking sector. We will be watching to ensure that the promises made become a reality and deliver real change for British business, despite the climate of fiscal constraint.”

The BCC’s full reaction to the Autumn Statement to follow at