British Chambers of Commerce 2009 Budget submission

 The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is urging the Chancellor to help the UK’s embattled private sector when he delivers his Budget speech on Wednesday.  

In its Budget submission, published today (Sunday), the BCC warns that the Budget must be a statement of intent focused on giving the wealth-creating productive sector the freedom and flexibility needed to drive the economy out of recession.  

The business group argues that immediate action is needed to restore the pervasive lack of confidence amongst businesses and consumers, and that effective support with credit insurance is crucial.  

In a comprehensive package of measures, the BCC sets out the policies it believes will lead to a sustainable national recovery. Some of the key points in the Budget submission include:     

*Short-term fiscal measures to help with cash flow such as; a freeze in the national minimum wage, the reintroduction of empty property rate relief, a reduction in the rate of small companies’ corporation tax, and a reversal in the planned increase for National Insurance Contributions in 2011.       

*A form of government guarantee scheme for credit insurance, which will ease the difficult conditions small and medium-sized firms are operating in.       

*Creating Enterprise Zones, where businesses in specific areas benefit from a simplified planning regime and exemption from a number of taxes. This will provide an essential boost to local economies.         

*Measures to prevent the loss of key skills with the introduction of a Temporary Short Time Working Compensation Scheme, previously used between 1979 and 1984, which encourages short-time working rather than redundancy.         

*Increases in targeted and “shovel ready” infrastructure projects totalling £20bn over the next 12 months. 

David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "The Chancellor's Budget is an opportunity for the government to prove its commitment to British business during this recession. "It will be business that drives the economy forward, creating jobs and wealth. Their importance to the country cannot be ignored. Unless they are given the freedom and flexibility needed to survive and prosper, many more companies will go bust, and sadly, many more jobs will be lost."