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SCOTTISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE CALLS ON CHANCELLOR TO DELIVER BUDGET FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

[ 12-03-2012 ]

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce have today, Monday 12 March 2012, written to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in advance of his Budget on 21 March.  The Scottish Chambers of Commerce submission calls on the Chancellor to deliver a budget that will enable businesses to drive economic growth across the UK. 
 
SCC Chief Executive Liz Cameron explained:
 
“This budget is a major opportunity for the UK Government to respond to the recent downgrade of the economic forecast for 2012 and to introduce measures aimed at supporting businesses over a very difficult period until growth becomes more normalised, probably over the course of 2013 and 2014.  In addition, it seems likely that unemployment in Scotland will continue to increase this year, meaning that it is imperative action is taken to reduce costs on business and boost cash flow at this crucial economic phase.
 
“Scottish Chambers of Commerce are arguing for a package of measures that would benefit a wide section of the business community in Scotland, principally through the acceleration of measures to ease access to credit and through a targeted and time limited capital allowance scheme aimed at growth businesses and their supply chains.  We are also seeking a lead from the UK Government on tackling the unwarranted 5.6% rise in business rates throughout the UK, which is due to take effect on 1 April. The deferral schemes announced by the UK and Scottish Governments are not good enough.  Scottish businesses should not be paying a 5.6% ‘inflationary increase’ at a time when RPI inflation is 3.9% and falling.
 
“We are also calling for a rethink on the UK Government’s attitude to Air Passenger Duty, which is compromising the competitiveness of our airports in Scotland.  Current rates of APD seem more suited to controlling capacity constraints at Heathrow than they do with the needs of regional airports and devolution of this tax would afford the Scottish Government the opportunity to create a air transport package for Scotland designed to improve our direct international connectivity, combining an advantageous rate of APD with a revamped Air Route Marketing Fund.”

 

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