Business leaders in Greater Birmingham are urging Chancellor Phillip Hammond to address three key issues in this week’s Budget: the economy, Brexit and investment.

Strengthening the foundations of the domestic economy, securing the best possible Brexit deal and encouraging firms to invest in their own business are at the forefront of a ‘wishlist’ produced by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) ahead of the Autumn Budget on Wednesday (22 November).

In order to encourage firms to invest more in their businesses, GBCC says the Government must take a number of steps, including:

*Ensuring that there are no new upfront taxes for the remainder of the Parliament;

*Making sure plant and machinery are removed from the ratings system;

*Removing the annual uprating of business rates for the next two years;

*Removing the administrative burden caused by the new CCA system when it comes to appealing business rates

GBCC chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “Whilst we welcome the news the Government is committed to investing in our region’s transport networks, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that more needs to be done to encourage local businesses to develop and grow.

“In particular, it is vital the structures are in place to make it easier for our firms to invest in two vital pillars which are central to a company’s prosperity – their people and their products.

“We’ve just witnessed the first interest rate rise in ten years, so the last thing companies need now is to be hit with a hike in business rates.

“The Chancellor needs to make it easier for firms to appeal rates whilst also implementing more radical measures, such as removing machinery from the rating mechanism, all of which will free up funds to be re-channelled into capex spend and training.

“In doing so, this will strengthen the competitiveness of the domestic economy and provide a welcome boost to productivity levels.”


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