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What will the Autumn Statement bring?

A lot is hinging on next month’s Autumn Statement, and business groups are calling for the Chancellor to be bold and make targeted announcements to boost growth.

But what will the Autumn Statement bring on 29 November? A suite of negative economic data continues to stack up and build pressure on the Government to do more.

Business groups are expecting to see announcements on banking reform, as well as a way to secure the future for energy intensive sectors, and an update on the second phase of the Growth Review, which is assessing policy that is holding back growth of investment and hiring by businesses.

The Chancellor is also expected to flesh out Credit Easing, and explain exactly how it will help businesses.

The CBI has made it clear that it wants announcements to be made that will help first-time buyers, and consequently the construction industry. While a recent statement from the CBI also called for more investment in infrastructure, including road and rail links and power generation.

Commenting on the importance of the Autumn Statement for growth, chief executive of the manufacturer’s organisation EEF, Terry Scuoler said: “This Autumn, the Government must get its Growth Plan back on track.
Manufacturers are looking to invest but they need to see Government take the right decisions on issues such as boosting competition in the banking sector, reducing employment regulation and addressing the cost of fighting climate change. They also need to hear how Government plans to transform the business environment by the end of this Parliament.

“But timely and targeted measures are required now to boost investment and growth. Last year, the biggest threat to growth came from our fiscal deficit. Today the biggest threat to reducing that deficit comes from weak growth. Failure to act now will only make the future challenges even bigger and risks undermining our hard-won fiscal credibility.”

Specific measures that EEF is calling for immediately include:

  • The introduction of 100% first year capital allowances for a time limited period of two years.
  • Reform of the R&D Tax credit to make it more effective at boosting investment and creating high value jobs.
  • The extension of the Business Growth Fund for companies between £5m and £50m to cover debt as well as equity.
  • Reversing the rise in employment regulation by rethinking proposals on Equal Pay Audits, Employment Tribunal fines and keeping new proposals on parental leave and flexible working simple.
  • Helping companies to invest in apprenticeships by urgently clarifying their legal status.

Meanwhile the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has today called for the Chancellor to announce targeted VAT cuts and an NIC holiday, to help smaller businesses to boost growth.

All will be revealed on 29 November. Please check our website for more information.