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Budget "well received" by East Mids businesses

George Osborne's focus on long-term economic growth has been "well received" by businesses across the East Midlands, according to East Midlands Chamber chief executive George Cowcher.

Cowcher said that with the impending General Election, it was important for Osborne to "play a steady hand" rather than making politically-motivated moves.

"The measures he announced today reflected the country's short-term electoral horizons and long-term economic needs and its focus on growth and prosperity will have been well received by business," he said.

"Lower business taxes, allowances for investment and targeted support for sectors, regions and small companies all contribute to confidence, investment and job creation."

He added that the East Midlands has played a central role in delivering economic growth in the UK.

"The region has been at the front of the pack in creating jobs, growing exports and, through innovation, developing new businesses, products and processes.

"It is this success which has created the opportunities for further investment in wages, investment and infrastructure – all areas that, if approached correctly, have the potential to heighten UK growth."

Richard Halstead, Midlands region director at EEF, also said the Chancellor received "three cheers" for manufacturers in the Midlands, particularly for measures to boost export.

"His decision to bring forward compensation for industries facing vast and uncompetitive energy costs, such as steel makers, is also welcome but the full package needs to be put in place as soon as possible.

"In addition he has committed to a stable and competitive tax regime, which we wholeheartedly support and which should go down well with local businesses."

But the chief executive of Leicestershire composite manufacturer argued that the Budget failed to address the biggest issue facing employers in the UK; a lack of skilled workers.

Ben Halford said: "Two years ago we had 20 staff and now we have 30 employees and are looking to increase this to 40. 

"However, there are not enough skilled engineers in the UK and now 15 per cent of our workforce is made up of people from other countries.  The government should relax immigration laws to make it easier to hire the right staff from outside of the EU irrespective of election pressures."


Source: Insider Media

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