GREENOCK Chamber of Commerce have given their response to the UK Government Budget.
Chamber president Elaine Stewart said: “In a Budget that doesn’t appear to do much to help us think more positively, we have a mixed reaction on how it might benefit businesses.
“While it is good news that cuts in the headline rate of Corporation Tax have been accelerated and extended – cut by 2 per cent to 24 per cent in April and a further 2 per cent to 22 per cent by 2014 -- there remains no change for small business. As such, it was a budget for big business. There is also no change in capital allowances or the employment burden of National Insurance.
“Looking at the reduction of the VAT rate to 5 per cent for Scotland’s ski lifts, begs the question, why not a reduction for the whole of our tourism and leisure industry? It would be a move that could bring real benefits for Inverclyde, which has great potential in that sector.
“Many employees will also be concerned about the rising pension age and there is nothing in it to help tackle youth unemployment in particular.”
Commenting on the national picture, Scottish Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive Liz Cameron said: “For the Scottish Government, it is important that it puts its £20.3 million of consequential funding to good use. Scotland’s businesses would very much welcome the use of some of this windfall to deliver a small business loan fund aimed at tackling short term cash flow issues – a significant barrier to business in Scotland today. Building such a loan fund would address a significant market failing and would help to fill in the gap that existing public and privately backed business finance schemes are currently missing.”