Northamptonshire business leader comments on the Budget

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Northamptonshire Chamber’s chief executive has given his reaction to George Osborne’s fifth Budget as chancellor.

The key points included raising the point at which people start paying income tax to £10,500, cutting the duty on beer by 1p per pint, halving bingo duty to 10 per cent and raising the threshold for 40p income tax from £41,450 to £41,865 next month.

For business, the chancellor announced that lending from government to UK businesses to promote exports would double to £3bn and that interest rates on that lending will be cut by a third.

Mr Osborne also said that business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances in enterprise zones will be extended for three years.

The chief executive of Northamptonshire Chamber, Paul Griffiths, said: “The package of measures announced by the chancellor in his fifth Budget goes a long way to supporting businesses growth and investment.

“It is right that the government should focus on creating jobs and investing in the future. By extending the grant to support 100,000 extra apprenticeships, more smaller companies will be encouraged to take on fresh talent.

“We also need a budget which is on the side of exporters and manufacturers and these business-friendly announcements are a step in the right direction, and will hopefully encourage more companies in Northamptonshire to consider exporting and continue making products.

“We already know that the value of goods shipped abroad has more than doubled to £44m in February, compared to the same period 12 months ago – this is based on businesses using our documentation service.

“All-in-all, we welcome the chancellor’s Budget, however, what businesses need is a long-term plan that will help rebuild the economy and get it moving so it’s back on track.”