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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

Autumn Statement: Regional breakdown

  • 10,000 people to be lifted out of income tax and 961,000 to pay less income tax as a result of Personal Allowance reforms.
  • Cancelling the planned rise in fuel duty in January
  • £64 million upgrade on the A1 at Lobley Hill, Gateshead.
  • £61 million to build over 3,300 new homes for affordable rent.
  • Business support measures will benefit 130,000 small and medium enterprises in the North East.
  • £17 million to return over 1500 empty homes to use in the North East and Yorkshire.
  • Government will provide a grant for councils that freeze council tax in 2013-14.

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Autumn Statement: Lunchtime Headlines

The Chancellor has committed to upgrading the A1 to motorway from London to Tyneside as far as the Team Valley in Gateshead.

George Osborne made the announcement in his Autumn Statement this afternoon. There was no mention of upgrading the road further north.

Other headlines from the Chancellor's statement include cancelling the planned 3 per cent rise in fuel duty.

Mr Osborne also announced an increase in support for businesses, including more help for local enterprise partnerships which promote regional businesses.

North East Chamber of Commerce claims victory over A1 upgrade to motorway

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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.

For further updates see the national ITV News.

Call to upgrade A1 in North Yorkshire

North East business leaders have called on the Chancellor to invest in improving the A1 in North Yorkshire. The North East Chamber of Commerce says it would boost the region's economy for the future.

Businesses have called for parts of the A1 in North Yorkshire to be upgraded to motorway. Credit: ITV

George Osborne will deliver his annual Autumn Statement at 12.30 pm. The speech is regarded as a 'mini-budget'.

Announcements are expected on increases to welfare benefits, fuel duty and pensions.

But businesses are looking for early Christmas presents that will help them create jobs.

Ross Smith, from NECC, said: "We'd like to see some better connections into our ports in particular and we think that there's a road scheme on the A1 in North Yorkshire which would better connect us into markets elsewhere in the UK.

"But perhaps one of the biggest things is getting more flights into and out of this region, particularly to the United States and some changes around tax and regulation on aviation could really assist with that."

  1. Ben Chapman

Businesses' wish list for George Osborne

There might be snow on the ground, and just three weeks until Christmas, but the Chancellor will deliver his Autumn Statement tomorrow lunchtime.

Businesses are hoping the festive spirit may have got to him, as they look for early Christmas presents to boost their firms.

The North East Chamber of Commerce is calling for investment in big infrastructure projects, including upgrading the A1 in North Yorkshire. It also wants more help for businesses to get ambitious plans off the ground.

There is also support for the idea of a government-backed 'Business Bank' to boost lending to small companies.

We spoke to members of the ITV Business Club to find out what's on their Christmas list for the Chancellor.

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