Cumbria Chamber of Commerce have reacted to today's Budget announcement.
– Rob Johnston, Chief Executive
"While the economy is clearly recovering, there is an ongoing concern that this is not a robust recovery, but one based on consumer spending rather than on a strong base of business investment and exports.
Alongside this, interest rates are low and inflation has been continually outstripping wages and low interest rates, limiting sustainable consumer spending.
"So as a Chamber we were pushing ahead of today's budget for support for business investment, export growth and investment in skills.
In particular we were looking for help for businesses to take on, train and invest in young people."
Some comments on specific measures include:
- Doubling the number of apprenticeships is particularly important for Cumbrian businesses
- The announcements on corporation tax were good news but only a reiteration of what was already announced in last year's budget
- The support for exports is is good news
- The £7bn package to cut energy costs, for manufacturers in particular, is good news.
- The cut in beer duty and freezing of duty on spirits is good news for businesses in Cumbria's vibrant tourism and leisure industry
- Cancellation of the increase planned for September is clearly good news, but this is just cancellation of a planned rise - not a reduction
- Measures to support further construction and extending help to buy are good news
- Increases in personal allowances are good news