Commenting on the Budget, Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of business group London First, said:
“There were some worthy measures from the Chancellor for business but no real game changers for London.
“Cash for potholes, a boost to investment allowances, and an apprenticeship levy cut for smaller firms are all welcome, but more will need to be done at the spending review to help turn around poor growth forecasts.
“The £500m boost for the housing infrastructure fund is welcome but still a fraction of the £20bn a year extra funding required to deliver the Government’s target of building 300,000 new homes. Next year’s spending review must bridge the funding gap and put forward a credible strategy that frees up more land and embraces smarter ways of building.
On business rates
“With London’s small businesses groaning under the weight of the highest business rate bills in the country, the rates relief announced will help relatively few firms in the capital where bills are likely to be above the £51,000 limit. It falls far short of the radical overhaul of business rates needed to keep pace with changes on the high street.
On the extension of electronic passport gates
“It’s good to hear our call for the extension of airport electronic passport gates actioned but sending a message that the UK is open for business will take more than that. With the Budget delivered, we now need to see the Government focus on securing a deal that preserves the benefits of the single market, keeps borders open for trade and goods and delivers a fair and managed immigration system which is open to global talent”.
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