Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry Budget Reaction

Businesses would have breathed a sigh of relief to see the VAT threshold kept at £85,000 for the next five years.

Our members and affiliated chambers will no doubt want to have their say in a consultation about the tax, which we will feed through the British Chambers of Commerce.

The Chancellor’s decision to bring forward the pegging of business rate rises from the RPI measure of inflation to CPI will be welcomed although many of our members will feel that fundamental reform is still needed.

Investment in 5G mobile networks, fibre broadband and artificial intelligence plus a further £2.3bn for research and development is encouraging.

We must do all we can in Dorset to fight for our fair share of this money, especially as our digital and technology economy is one of the most vibrant nationwide.

Speaking as chair of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership Employment and Skills board, measures to boost the teaching of maths and science are very welcome although more still needs to be done.

Abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers and moves to boost the housing and construction sectors are welcome, and we would be very happy to offer any help to West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin in his study of planning application completions.”

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