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More Must be Done to Stimulate Growth

 

The region's largest business membership organisation has said the Chancellor's Autumn Budget Statement does not go far enough to stimulate economic growth.

The region's largest business membership organisation has said the Chancellor's Autumn Budget Statement does not go far enough to stimulate economic growth.

The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) welcomed additional credit easing, the £1bn extension to the Regional Growth Fund, that the bureaucracy burden on small firms was to be addressed and another commitment from George Osborne that planning reform was required.

However, the business organisation claims these measures do not go far enough to stimulate the growth required to rebalance the UK economy and help the continued development of the North East's impressive export performance.

NECC Director of Policy and Membership, Andrew Sugden, said:

"The extension to the Regional Growth Fund could be seen as the most positive announcement given the level of funding North East businesses have already secured.

"While the RGF announcement should deliver substantial investment it is a time limited scheme and the fundamental challenges for rebalancing the economy are still not being met. The Government missed a great opportunity to address this through infrastructure investment in the region.

"In short, the Budget Statement has failed to do enough to level the playing field that would enable the North East to deliver more for UK Plc."

NECC, which represents more than 4,000 businesses who in turn employ around 30% of the region's workforce, had called for more support for exporters to build on the North East's reputation as the only region in the country with a consistently positive balance of trade and the highest level of exports relative to GDP.

"Infrastructure investment is essential if we are to continue our excellent export performance," added Andrew.

"While we welcome the acceleration of the Tyne and Wear Metro upgrade, it will be interesting to see how many of the other 499 new infrastructure projects announced today are planned for the North East. Only two of 40 priority infrastructure projects are planned for our region, and neither is new.

"We in the North East do not claim to be a special case, but we have a tremendous opportunity to support the rebalancing of the UK economy and this requires infrastructure investment."

A copy of NECC's briefing to members is available on the link below:

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