Dorset Chambers Budget Reaction

Here’s our reaction to yesterday’s budget:

There is much to applaud in the Chancellor’s Budget. Many businesses in Dorset will welcome measures to reduce the unnecessarily high burden of business rates on SMEs and moves to breathe fresh life into the high street. The increase in the annual investment allowance, reduction of the apprenticeship levy for small businesses from 10% to 5%, the freeze on fuel duty and money for pothole repairs are also very encouraging.

However, we must fight to make sure that Dorset gets its fair share of any funding being made available, whether that is for the high street or for highway repairs. We must also continue to lobby for fundamental reform in key areas to ensure that the Chancellor’s measures don’t become expensive sticking plasters for major issues, such as business rates and the health of the high street.

Although the new digital services tax on the tech giants is welcome we must make sure that our many innovative firms in Dorset are not affected. Income rate threshold increases are welcome if they put more money in the consumer’s pocket, whole some employers may have concerns about the National Living Wages rise.

This may be the last Budget before Brexit, yet Dorset businesses will remain confident, focused and optimistic whatever the next 12 months bring.