East Midlands Chamber leader’s concerns over upcoming budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 19, 2014. See PA BUDGET stories. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 19, 2014. See PA BUDGET stories. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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The chief executive of the East Midlands Chamber has spoken out about his concerns for tomorrow’s budget, and hopes it will not ‘unpick the strong progress the economy has made over the past two years’.

George Cowcher said: “With a decline in business investment in the final months of 2014 and forecasts predicting the slowest rate of growth in investment in six years, more needs to be done to support business investment over the longer term.

“Firms need long-term certainly rather than short-term incentives to help support investment decisions and this is where firms will be hoping the Chancellor focuses his attention on Wednesday.

“Last year, the Chamber identified the five key areas which it believes need targeted support - namely placing business at the centre of local growth, delivering on long-term infrastructure needs, fixing the link between education and the world of work, supporting businesses to succeed overseas and reducing the cost of doing business - so anything announced in the Budget or by the incoming Government should adhere to these broad aims.

“Only by focusing on key business priorities such as reforming Britain’s broken Business Rates system and the difficulties faced by many firms in accessing finance for growth, can the Chancellor demonstrate that he is committed to solving the problems which hinder the growth aspirations of many firms.

“With a general election in the not-so-distant future and the inevitable uncertainties that will undoubtedly bring, business will be hoping the chancellor will keep a steady hand on the tiller with his final budget of the current Parliament rather make any politically-motivated announcements which risk unpicking the strong progress the economy has made over the past two years.”