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Autumn Budget - What do businesses think?

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23 November 2017

It is perhaps of no surprise that there were no controversial measures announced from the Chancellor of a minority Government. The last thing they need at the moment is a Finance Bill that is not passed by the House, but what does this mean to local businesses?

John Cabrini-Dale, Chief Executive Officer: Omnitrack Omni-directional Movement Solutions

Omnitrack first invented and patented our high capacity ‘endless track’ range of heavy duty Ball Transfer units in 1954. We've been continuously developing and expanding the range since and produce the widest range available worldwide.

How does this affect your business?

UK growth forecast - down AGAIN whilst intangible and ludicrous car-crash that is Brexit looms with increasingly unnecessary imminence.

A weak pound won’t produce a magical increase in exports but improved productivity and automation will. As innovators in the materials handling marketplace we’ve a rolling programme of delivering new product designs, including intelligent ball transfer units, for use in manufacturing companies around the world. Thanks to Philip Hammond’s further £2.3 billion for investment in R&D and increased to tax credits of 12% we hope to expand our programme in 2018. 

Colin Cole, Chief Executive: Lioncourt Homes Ltd 

Lioncourt Homes is a 5 Star Quality Award Winning Home Builder, building new homes in desirable locations throughout Central England.

What were the key points for your business?

Labour Shortage – Aging workforce Industry is creaking at the seams to produce circa 200,000 new homes; this requires significant new site labour and a whole new generation of apprentices & new skilled workers.

There was an unhelpful comment regarding the significant gap between planning permissions granted and the number of homes being built

Government will be undertaking a thorough review and will take direct action to intervene - including compulsory purchases to be used. This just demonstrates a complete lack of understanding by the Government and particularly the Secretary of State who keeps referring to ‘land banking’.

In reality it is very different. Planning application to planning consent now takes 6 – 7 months. Planning consent to site start averages a further 6 - 7 months – due to the large number of pre-commencement conditions.

Government would be better advised to investigate this problem to speed up the planning process including expanding the resource in the local authority planning teams! When you also take into consideration the flawed and time consuming appeal process, you will understand why a home builder has more land on its books than it is able to develop. In addition, the land released for home building tends to be focused on large swathes of land in specific areas, meaning that significant infrastructure is required before any homes can be built – yet another time delay.

As a prominent home builder recognised as the fastest growing home builder in the UK I can assure you that we neither want to or can afford to sit on land with the appropriate permission to build on. We are geared up to start work as soon as we achieve a detailed planning consent.

Alun Jones, Finance Director: Prima Dental

Prima Dental proud to be a world leader in precision dental products, supplying over 100 countries, from USA to South Korea.

What were your initial thoughts?

Overall, as expected, there was little of great interest in Mr. Hammond’s announcement. As a business, it was slightly disappointing that there wasn’t more around the skills gap shortage and productivity gap. Particularly when there’s so much discussion recently around how far the UK is behind in terms of productivity when compared to other developed nations.

The increases in the R&D tax credit and the change to business rates indexation were relatively minor positives, but in reality there was nothing to get excited about for our business.

Share your reaction to the Autumn Budget by contacting marketing@hazlewoods.co.uk with a comment.