Businesses wanted a Budget that was disciplined, focused, and geared toward the creation of wealth and jobs – and that’s what the Chancellor has delivered. With a huge confidence gap still separating employers from young job-seekers, we are very pleased to see the Chancellor heed our call to help firms take on and train tomorrow’s workforce. Overcoming that confidence gap means more investment in young people, more apprenticeships, and more jobs, which are critical with more than 900,000 16-to-24-year-olds still out of work nationally.
Osborne’s focus on investment, exports, house-building and economic resilience passes the business test. By making a better business environment his top priority, the Chancellor has recognised that successful and confident companies are the key to transforming Britain’s growing economic recovery into one that is felt in homes and on high streets.
Export finance problems stop many companies from getting their goods and services into new markets. To support our exporters, Britain’s export finance support must match that of our global competitors. The moves made by the Chancellor to increase the support available, and to lower the interest rates charged to companies, are a big step in the right direction. Ensuring awareness of this support amongst the growing and medium-sized firms that stand to benefit is crucial, however, to this policy’s success. While finance for international transactions is important, so is the level of support for businesses looking to expand into new and fast-growing markets. Moves to improve international transport connections through regional airports, and to simplify Air Passenger Duty, are a good start.
These considered measures to support business growth and wealth creation will benefit Swindon and Thames Valley businesses.