Reassuring that chancellor has responded to challenging times, says Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber

CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement has been given a cautious welcome by the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber.

Mr Hunt announced two major tax cuts and claimed the economy had “turned a corner”.

For employees, he cut national insurance from 12 per cent to ten per cent, while the self-employed also received a cut in national insurance.

Responding to today’s statement, chief executive of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Carrie Sudbury said: “With an election looming on the horizon, it’s perhaps no surprise that the chancellor has announced a number of measures today which at face value offers some hope for already squeezed businesses and households alike.

“Many businesses across South Yorkshire are facing a very challenging and uncertain future as they combat high interest rates, and the impact of 12 months of double-digit inflation. It is reassuring to see the chancellor has responded to calls made by the chamber network, with specific announcements made in relation to business investment, safeguarding energy supply and planning reforms, however, with 110 different measures announced today, as always, the devil will be in the detail.

“I welcome the chancellor’s decision to introduce new measures to end the culture of late payments, something which can be particularly problematic for cash-squeezed SME businesses. Similarly the decision to reform National Insurance for self-employed workers should also be cautiously welcomed.

“”It’s clear that the chancellor has recognised the important role every business plays when it comes to generating real growth in the economy, and I feel announcements today is a step in the right direction. However, if he is serious about levelling up the economy outside of London, then more must be done to address the barriers to growth that prevent businesses in areas like South Yorkshire from realising their full potential.”