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Autumn Statement: the business reaction

03 Dec 2014

In response to the 2014 Autumn Statement, business groups have spoken out on the forthcoming measures outlined by Chancellor George Osborne.

Reacting to Mr Osborne’s comments on taxation, Institute of Directors’ (IoD) head of taxation, Stephen Herring, said: ‘It is vital that our economic debate recognises the share of revenue paid by the country’s top earners. The Chancellor acknowledged that the top 20% pay more in tax than the remaining 80%. The greatest burden is being borne by those with the broadest shoulders’.

Speaking positively, Director General of the IoD, Simon Walker, said: ‘The statement demonstrated what can be achieved with limited room for manoeuvre by focussing on considered tax reforms. We’re pleased that that the higher rate tax threshold is heading in the right direction’.

Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘The living standards crisis has wrecked the Chancellor’s strategy.

‘He has failed his deficit reduction pledge as low-paid Britain is paying much less tax than expected. And businesses won’t find the customers they need if consumers do not have money in their pockets’.

Regarding the Chancellor’s so-called ‘Google tax’, Confederation of British Industry Director General, John Cridland, cautioned: ‘International tax rules are in urgent need of updating, but the decision for the UK to go it alone, outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) process, will be a concern for global businesses, and moving the goalposts on offsetting losses risks creating a worrying precedent’.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) was pleased with the Government’s commitment to a review of business rates.

‘By focusing on key business priorities, such as Britain’s broken business rates system and the difficulty of accessing finance for growth, the Chancellor has demonstrated that he is committed to solving problems that hinder the growth aspirations of many firms,’ said BCC Director General John Longworth.