British Chambers of Commerce calls for investment incentives
British Chambers of Commerce calls for an end to ‘business as usual’ and new investment incentives
As evidence grows that uncertainty over Brexit is adversely impacting on business investment at the same time as the UK’s long-standing weaknesses in productivity, skills and connectivity threaten our competitiveness, the British Chambers of Commerce has told the UK Government that the ‘business as usual’ approach which has characterised recent fiscal policy must end.
The BCC, which represents over 50 chambers of commerce across the country, including Fife, has argued that the 2018 Budget must focus on radical measures to bolster business investment, competitiveness and productivity. It has proposed action in seven key areas.
- An exceptional ‘Brexit Investment Incentive’ – with the Annual Investment Allowance
boosted to £1m to ‘crowd in’ both domestic and international investment – and stem the
weakening in business investment in the face of Brexit uncertainty.
- A commitment to no new taxes or costs on businesses for the remainder of this parliament
- giving businesses the headroom to adjust to Brexit and to invest, recruit and grow.
- Delay the roll-out of Making Tax Digital for all businesses by one year – to provide HMRC
and businesses with the headroom to prepare for this major change to the way tax is collected.
- Introduce a Business Rates Investment Incentive – ease the drag effect of this uniquely
iniquitous business tax on investment by providing a 12-month delay before rates are
increased when an existing property is expanded or improved and also before rates apply to
a new build property.
- Deliver real UK-wide reform to the apprenticeship levy and drop SME co-funding for
apprenticeships in England – to ensure that the training system works for everyone and eases
the UK’s chronic skills shortage.
- Abandon the uprating of business rates for the next two financial years for all businesses on
the high street in town and city centres - to ease the financial burden on struggling businesses
as they go through significant structural changes.
- Provide the funding needed to achieve full mobile coverage along transport corridors (road
and rail) – a crucial step to improving digital connectivity and productivity for businesses that
need to communicate with new and existing customers, suppliers and employees.