Economic plan for year ahead

Steven Leigh from the Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Steven Leigh from the Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

In November we wrote to the Chancellor and asked him to consider action in four key areas - exports, infrastructure, business rates and skills.

Our wish list also includes other measures which we believe are important if we are to achieve sustainable recovery and economic growth.

We wish that the Government would prioritise assistance for companies aspiring to start exporting, and the provision of additional tax allowances on sales (or profits) derived from international activities would directly incentivise those companies.

The development of a fully-connected high-speed rail network has the potential to deliver great benefits but it is essential that any proposals should fully connect and integrate with the existing rail network.

We also continue to highlight the unfairness and disparity in investment levels between the North and South, and we continue to lobby the Government for this funding gap to be closed.

We continue to argue that business rates are a counter-intuitive tax which impact on businesses and when considered alongside parking charges and online shopping are having a profound impact on high street retailers and smaller businesses.

Skills and future skill requirements are long-term issues for our region’s businesses. When engaging with our members we hear repeatedly that difficulties which are encountered by businesses in the recruitment of the right staff.

But we wish that further consideration could be given for the funding streams for training of young people and apprenticeships to be channelled through employers rather than always through the training providers.