Your quarterly quota of expert insight and fresh thinking.. The business magazine for Suffolk and Cambridgeshire...
18th March 2016
In his Budget this week, the Chancellor announced a number of important commitments to help the continued growth of our local economy. Reductions in Corporation Tax, Business Rates relief for small businesses and a reduction in Commercial Stamp Duty will all help to support thousands of local businesses in our area.
Commitment to Crossrail 2 brings with it much needed investment into the West Anglia Mainline, something we have been campaigning for as part of the West Anglia Taskforce. We want to see this work undertaken as soon as possible to increase the frequency, speed and reliability of trains between Cambridge, Stansted Airport and London.
We also welcome news of a new National Infrastructure Commission study into the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor, looking at the key infrastructure investment priorities that are needed to support some of the most productive and fast growing cities in the country.
Beyond tax reforms and investment in national infrastructure schemes, the Chancellor announced commitment to moving forward an East Anglia Devolution Deal. Further investment in the local infrastructure via this Deal is of course welcome, but we believe that the deal doesn’t go far enough to tackle the key barriers to economic growth. The LEP has not signed up to the current deal, but remains actively involved in discussions with all key partners and Government about how the deal could be better tailored to meet the needs of our local economy.
It is vital that we continue our discussions with the local business community, sharing with them the details of the deal that have been published today, and carefully listening to their views. It is these views that will feed into the devolution deal process, and that will guide the LEP’s ultimate decision on the whether or not to sign the devolution deal on offer.
Neil Darwin, Chief Executive