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2018 Autumn Budget – the business reaction

Business groups have responded to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget speech.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the measures outlined in the Budget, extolling the £900 million in business rates support for small high street businesses, and praising the two-year freeze of the current VAT threshold.

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, stated: ‘This is the most small-business-friendly Budget that this Chancellor has delivered. He has listened to our requests across many areas of tax and public policy, putting him firmly on the side of Britain’s small businesses.’

Additionally, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) commended the Chancellor for his ‘rock-solid’ Budget that delivered ‘more treats than tricks’.

Commenting on the Budget, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, said: ‘It recognises the enormous contribution enterprise has made to balancing the UK’s books through jobs, pay and tax, and responds to many of the recommendations that firms have made.’

Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) stated that the Chancellor has listened to firms’ concerns by ‘delivering a Budget that supports investment and growth’.

Commenting on the speech, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘Philip Hammond has sent important and positive signals to businesses across the UK, many of whom have been wavering on investment and hiring.’

However, the Institute of Directors (IoD) said that the Chancellor delivered a Budget that ‘pulled its punches’. Stephen Martin, Director General of the IoD, said: ‘Going into this Budget, IoD members urged the Chancellor to prioritise help for Brexit preparations. It is not enough simply to announce a potential ‘no deal Brexit Budget’- businesses need to get ready now.’

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