Autumn Statement | Business leaders in Northamptonshire are calling on the Chancellor to break down some of the barriers to economic growth.

Business leaders in Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes are calling on the Chancellor to break down some of the barriers to economic growth – without risking financial stability.

The Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce is looking ahead to this week’s Autumn Statement when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP will set out the Government’s latest fiscal policies.

The Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Louise Wall has joined 37 Chamber CEO’s representing over 35,000 businesses to call on the Chancellor to offer much-needed solutions to Britain’s investment problem

Sean Rose, head of policy at the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce,  said the recent drop in inflation was a boost to businesses and that while firms wanted some of the obstacles to growth removed, they will not want to see a repeat of last year.

“Despite the recent positive news on inflation, the Chancellor still has very little headroom to introduce fiscal stimulus. He will not want to risk undoing all the hard work that has been done to get inflation down over the past 12 months in this statement and will certainly want to avoid what happened just over a year ago with Kwasi Kwarteng’s now infamous budget.

“That said, there are areas where the Government can support growth – not by offering a blank cheque of financial incentives but by removing some of the blockers for businesses.

“We certainly need to see an upgrading of the energy grid to unlock new business development and investment. This is not only crucial in the short-term, it is vital for our long-term plans to hit net zero.

“One area of the economy that does require support is hospitality and retail and we’d like to see an extension of rates relief for this sector by freezing the multiplier, and looking at reforming the system to better reflect firms’ ability to pay.

“Business rates reform has long been talked about but the system is no longer fit for purpose and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

“Other areas where we, alongside colleagues at the British Chambers of Commerce are asking for reform is in introducing tax breaks to encourage firms to offer Occupational Health and, also, introducing a rolling five-year guarantee for the continuation of the full expensing tax break, to increase take up.

“We are also keeping our fingers crossed that the Chancellor will use this moment to support our regional economy directly because we can all see what a fantastic opportunity we have to be at the forefront of battery and green technologies.”