North East Chamber of Commerce welcome Autumn Stament
The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) has hailed the Government’s pledge to upgrade the A1 to Motorway from London to Newcastle as a "major boost for regional firms".
The business membership organisation also says it is backing the Chancellor's commitment to support exports, invest in Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and reduce the tax burden on businesses.
"This is the first budget announcement from the Coalition Government that business in the North East can really get behind. The Chancellor has clearly listened to many of the regional priorities we asked him to address, on behalf of NECC members.
"The £378million upgrade of the A1 to motorway from London to Newcastle is a huge success for those of us who have lobbied long and hard for infrastructure investment and will help our firms deliver more for UK PLC, as well as alleviate congestion at pinch points on the Western Bypass.
"With the North East's excellent export performance, we are also pleased the Chancellor has listened to calls for greater investment in overseas trade support, which can help companies break into new markets across the globe.
"Exporting businesses will welcome the commitment of £70million in new funding, so long as it is used to help them strengthen their exporting capability and to exploit opportunities in fast-growing markets overseas.
"With the removal of the January fuel duty rise, the annual investment allowance for firms investing in equipment increasing tenfold and the reduction to Corporation Tax, there is positivity to be taken from the Chancellor's budget statement.
"We also called for more money to be available through the Regional Growth Fund and for LEPs to have a greater say in regional infrastructure and business priorities so the decision to provide them with additional investment must be welcomed."
– Ross Smith, Director of Policy, North East Chamber of Commerce
Local government budgets are already being held down next year so will not be expected to make further 1% savings - but they will need to make 2% savings the year after, the Chancellor said in his Autumn Statement.
Chancellor: "Transfer of Northern Rock added to national debt"
The transfer of liabilities of the Newcastle-based Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley to the national balance sheet is one of three measures which has had a "significant impact" on the public finances, George Osborne told Parliament in his Autumn Statement - adding £17bn to the national debt.