13 March 2019
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:
“Against a hugely uncertain political backdrop the Chancellor has made an admirable attempt to set out a long-term vision for the UK economy, yet remains shackled by Brexit.
“This year’s forecast downgrade brings the danger of no deal to the UK economy sharply into view. It must be avoided.
“Meanwhile, space must be found for the UK’s domestic agenda. Standing still while the world continues to turn is not an option.
“The Chancellor’s rightly identified the need to go further and faster in combating climate change. His ambition for all new homes to be heated sustainably will ensure we make better progress towards a zero-carbon economy.
“Prompt payment practices are good for businesses throughout the supply chain, so if reporting encourages better behaviour from firms that should be welcomed.
“However, going it alone on a digital services tax is high risk, especially at a time when the UK already looks increasingly isolated. The EU has dropped their plans and got behind the OECD’s efforts, the UK should follow suit. The government needs to be doing all it can to encourage investment in the UK and adoption of new technologies, not putting barriers in the way.”