CBI Scotland on the Autumn Statement
In a preliminary reaction to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today, CBI Scotland’s assistant director, David Lonsdale, said:
“With the national debt set to swell by a further £260 billion over the next three years and important export markets overseas still in a funk, this was always likely to prove a difficult backdrop to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
"However, he is right to continue to try to eliminate the public spending deficit, crucial if he is to halt let alone start to reverse the ballooning national debt and higher interest payments that come with it.
“The Autumn Atatement does contain a number of positive announcements for business, amongst the most eye-catching is the promised further reduction in corporation tax.
"Retained profits are playing a larger role in funding firms’ future investment plans given the constraints on traditional lending sources, and so the further reductions in the pipeline are significant and welcome.
“There were welcome decisions too on infrastructure spending, capital allowances for firms investing in plant and machinery, science, and support for exporters, although the reduction in pension tax relief is a disappointment.
Mr Lonsdale added:
“The decision to exempt newly built commercial development from empty property rates for up to 18 months will encourage private sector investment, and the Scottish Government must act to ensure that the empty rates regime here is equally attractive.”