Manufacturing support was missing say bosses
LACK of support for manufacturing, exports and business rates made yesterday's Budget a non-event according to a key business leader in South Wales.
David Russ, managing director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said the Chancellor was tinkering around the edges in his speech to the House of Commons.
Mr Russ said: "If you look at the growth forecasts the reality is there is very little room for manoeuvre.
"What we were hoping to see come through was short term stimulus.
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"We saw nothing in the Budget about supporting manufacturing. There is nothing there to support exporting. We have been crying out for many months that if we are going to get the economy moving there has to be incentives to get business moving. There is no capital gains incentive."
Mr Russ said the Chancellor could also have used this year's Budget to re-visit VAT which currently stands at 20 per cent.
He said: "He could have reduced that down to 17 per cent.
"It would have put more money into people's pockets and that would have helped the retail sector."
The Chamber director was also disappointed not to hear a mention of business rates.
He added: "I think, from a business point of view the Budget was a non-event."
Mr Russ said infrastructure will be a key element for the success of business in Wales going forward.
He said: "The Chancellor announced £3 billion going into infrastructure.
"What we would like to see is for a bigger chunk of that to go into sorting the problems on the M4.
"Wales is not open for business when the M4 closes after traffic incidents."
Mr Russ did however appreciate relief given to small businesses looking to take on staff.
He said: "From a Welsh perspective, we have got more than 100,000 sole traders in Wales. If anyone is looking to take on more people this National Insurance contribution is a significant incentive to do that."