2019 Spring Statement - the business reaction

13 Mar 2019

Business groups have responded to Chancellor Philip Hammond's Spring Statement speech.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the Chancellor's commitment to tackling the late payments issue. Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said that the government must 'tackle this scourge once and for all'.

He said: 'The commitment from the Chancellor that the Business Secretary will see this through is welcome, and we are especially pleased that the first measure has been announced - to make a Non-Executive Director responsible for the supply chain through the Audit Committee of every large business, and to report back through the Annual Report on their progress.

'The end of late payments could finally be in sight. It can't come soon enough, to bolster small businesses at a time when they are in great need of support and a lift in confidence.'

The response from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), however, was decidedly lukewarm. Commenting on the speech, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the BCC, said: 'The Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts for the Spring Statement indicate a more downbeat outlook for the UK economy, with GDP growth now projected to be lower in 2019 compared to their previous forecast.'

Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) praised the Chancellor for making 'an admirable attempt to set out a long-term vision for the UK economy' while remaining 'shackled' by Brexit. However, it remains cautious about the UK's plans to implement its so-called Digital Services Tax, especially as the EU has seemingly withdrawn its support of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development's efforts.

Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the CBI, said: 'Going it alone on a Digital Services Tax is high-risk, especially at a time when the UK already looks increasingly isolated.

'The government needs to be doing all it can to encourage investment in the UK and adoption of new technologies, not putting up barriers.'

Register for our newsletter

Once a month we'll send you an email packed full of essential business news and handy tax tips to help save you money.



34 Boulevard
BS23 1NF

01934 415022


Bath Street
BS27 3AA

01934 743274

Home | Contact us | Accessibility | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Help | Site map |

© 2020 Four Fifty Partnership. All rights reserved.

We use cookies on this website, you can find more information about cookies here.

Registered to carry on audit work in the UK by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Details about our audit registration can be found at auditregister.org.uk under the reference C001092613.

"four fifty partnership" is a trading name of Four Fifty Partnership Limited. Registered in England. Company Number 5032008. Registered Office 34 Boulevard, Weston super Mare, Somerset BS23 1NF.

Directors: Richard Acreman BSc CTA, Joy Boswell FCCA FCA, Peter Ison BA FCA and Nick Gravell FCCA FCA.

Professional Indemnity Insurers: Nexus Underwriting Limited 52-56 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 2EB (Policy Number: BC6210PIA194). The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada and excludes any action for a claim brought in any court in the United States of America or Canada.