Hampshire Chamber welcomes 'plan for jobs'

Tony Knight, Chair of the Professional Services Forum at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. Tony is Managing Director of Southampton-based commercial insurance broker Knightsure Insurance Brokers.
Tony Knight, Chair of the Professional Services Forum at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. Tony is Managing Director of Southampton-based commercial insurance broker Knightsure Insurance Brokers.

Responding to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement, Tony Knight, Chair of Hampshire Chamber’s Professional Services Forum, said:

“In these unprecedented circumstances and with limited room for manoeuvre, the Chancellor should be applauded for some very sensible measures.

“The substantial and targeted VAT cut will provide much needed relief for the hospitality industry with restaurants given an extra shot in the arm through the August discount scheme.

“At the same time, the raising of the Stamp Duty threshold will encourage the resumption of homebuying, boost the property sector and create jobs in the wider supply chain.

“Many people worried about their futures will welcome the jobs retention bonus, giving employers an added incentive to bring staff back from furlough and keep them on.

“We also welcome the encouragement of apprenticeships and bonus payments for taking on young trainees.

“Taken together, the various measures he announced represent a strong stimulus to boost business confidence and get the economy moving again.

“It was, however, a giveaway. There were no tax increases announced that would help pay for it.

“Such spending cannot go on forever and the Chancellor will have some hard thinking to do before the Budget in the autumn.

“At that point we can expect big decisions on tax and borrowing to help offset the deep recession we face.

“If we don’t beat Covid, the measures announced by the Chancellor today will have limited impact in getting the economy back on track.

“He has done the right thing from a fiscal point of view but it continues to be everyone’s responsibility to stay safe and defeat the virus.”

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