2023 Autumn Statement - the business reaction

22 Nov 2023

Business groups, including the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), have reacted to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's 2023 Autumn Statement speech.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed Mr Hunt's 'game-changing' decisions on business rates, late payments and tax for the self-employed. Tina McKenzie, Policy Chair at the FSB, commented: 'The Chancellor and his Treasury team deserve credit for driving pro-small business change and for listening to and working closely with the FSB and its small business members to address the real concerns of businesses and act to help build future prosperity.'

Meanwhile, the CBI praised the Chancellor for making full expensing, which allows companies to deduct the costs of qualifying plant and machinery from their profits straight away with no expenditure limit, permanent.

Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Executive of the CBI, said: 'Making full capital expensing a permanent feature of the tax system can be transformational for accelerating growth and improving living standards in the long-term. Helping firms to unleash pent-up investment is critical to getting momentum into the economy.'

The BCC said it is 'pleased' the Chancellor has listened to its calls to help businesses deal with the current economic challenges. Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, stated: 'Smaller firms will be relieved to see a package of measures that alleviate the cashflow problems they face, such as continued business rates relief for hospitality, retail and leisure, and new rules to help them get paid on time.

'The government's plans to support people back into work have the potential to help grow the economy.'

The Institute of Directors (IoD) applauded the 'efforts to boost business investment' that were outlined in the Statement. Roger Barker, Director of Policy at the IoD, said: 'This Autumn Statement was all about making full expensing permanent. This measure represents a significant reduction in the overall burden of business taxation, and is to be welcomed.

'According to our members, full expensing is already exerting a positive impact on investment decision making.'

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